NEWS DIGEST – France has pledged to sustain partnership with Nigeria on climate change and environmental protection in line with Paris agreement.

Mr Helois Ellien, Cooperation Attache, Embassy of France to Nigeria, made this known while briefing Journalists at the documentary film screening to commemorate the 2019 World Environment Day (WED) in Abuja.

The documentary entitled: “Once Upon a Forest” was organised by the French Embassy to highlight the importance of an ecosystem which currently exists in the southern part of Nigeria.

Ellien said that the day had always been marked globally since 1972, therefore the documentary about the earth forest to showcase challenges of environment and chat the way forward.

“Environmental challenge is huge not only in Nigeria but all over the world; we need to tackle issues about climate change and preservation of flora and fauna all around the world.

“There are lots of hot spots on biodiversity in Nigeria; France is only trying to give a hand at every level to support environmental protection, following Paris agreement.

“For few years now we dwelt on tackling climate change and efforts to fight the climate change, France is also looking for partnership civil society organisations on protection of the environment.

“We have several agreement and partnership with civil society in Nigeria; we are working in Yankari Game Reserves and also in Cross River State to preserve nature there.

“In all conservation programmes we are supporting there is a cross transversal way in tackling environmental issues that everyone is facing, particularly in Nigeria,” he said.

He further said that plans were ongoing to partner with relevant civil society organisations towards designing projects that would ensure that environmental issues were taken into consideration.

He also promised to renew partnership with Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi and also establish video programme on the French Embassy’s website to create more awareness on issues affecting environment.

According to him, there is a lot of cooperation between France and Nigeria in awareness creation to enhance people’s knowledge about global issues on environment.

“It is a step-by-step, balancing and sustaining awareness is key for preserving nature and environment.

“We have to preserve this treasure which not everybody has, it is so important not only for the future, but also to develop respect for what we have,” Ellien added.

The WED on the theme, “Beat Air Pollution” is often celebrated on June 5, of every year as the United Nations vehicle for encouraging awareness and action for protection of environment. (NAN)