Post COP 26: Ecosystem Restoration Committee Chairman briefs Bayelsa environment commissioner

…proposes training of Bayelsans on renewable energy

Yenagoa—The Chairman of Bayelsa State Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Committee, Dr. Hephzibah Suobo, on Thursday, paid a courtesy visit to the Commissioner for Environment in the state, Hon. Iselema Gbaranbiri at his office in Yenagoa, has gathered.

He was accompanied on the visit by the Director of Climate Change, Mr. Davidson Wakeidei Ere, Dr. Marie Therese Teibowei and Barr. Eli Etus.

In his remarks, Suobo appreciated the commissioner for giving him the platform to express himself as an advocate of environmental sustainability in the state.

He thanked Gbaranbiri for his appointment as Chairman of Bayelsa State Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Committee/Consultant to the Bayelsa State Government on Climate Change.

Suobo averred that his appointment has given him access to the United Kingdom for Post COP 26 engagements with UK organizations such as Rasterse Energyst, Salt Consult and Ijaw People’s Association of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (IPA).

Recalling the warm reception and hospitality he enjoyed in the UK by Mr. Ebizimo Oweifie, Suobo urged the Commissioner to appeal to Governor Douye Diri to appoint his erstwhile host as the government’s Diaspora Liaison representative in the UK.

He revealed that he met with the management of Rasterse Energyst in Southend-on-sea, UK led by Chuks Donald Owemena, the Director for Alternative Energy, Dr. Terrence Lewis and their spouses to discuss bold steps in training Bayelsa policymakers, youths and women on renewable energy at Center for Alternative Technology (C.A.T) in Wales.

Suobo advised the commissioner to spearhead the training as one of the multiple takeaways of COP 26 in Glasgow.

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According to him, Bayelsa delegates will be trained at the C.A.T where students of both Cambridge and Oxford University are also trained.

He said he was also invited to Glasgow Scotland by the CEO of Salt Consult for POST COP 26 engagement with a team and representative of the Scottish ALBA political party to discuss Climate sustainability program in line with Glasgow leaders’ decision at COP 26.

“A proposed engagement with First Minister of Scotland and Bayelsa State Government was discussed and linkages to grants to fund climate-smart program and scholarships and distribution of clean energy devices like scooters, solar-powered bicycles were discussed.

“Salt Consult Ltd is ready to collaborate with Bayelsa State to enable her access over 500M USD grants available within the confines of Scottish multilateral institutions and subnational government for low-income countries,” he said.

Suobo revealed that he met a former President of the IPA, Mr. Roland Ekperi, who endorsed the visit. He also met a Niger Delta environmental advocate, Mr. Inemo Samiama, who according to him made an offer to the Ministry to send a delegation to Bodo City Mangrove Clean Up Project for experience sharing.

He informed the commissioner that the Bayelsa State Decade on Ecosystem Restoration Committee report will be made available on World Environmental Day (5th of June 2022), provided the stipulated requirements put forth by the committee are met by the state government.

Suobo also highlighted the role played by foremost Niger Delta historian, Prof. Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa and the recommendations made to the committee.

He recommended sending a Geospatial and Remote Sensing analyst, Daniel Obriango to work with the committee who had designed an online data collection mechanism known as the 123 Collector. This he said will be used in assessing the status of the damaged ecosystems in Bayelsa State.

Responding, the Commissioner for Environment, Hon. Iselema Gbaranbiri thanked Suobo for his good work. He charged him to do a proper report that will address the multiple takeaways of his POST COP 26 visit to the UK.

Gbaranbiri stated that in the fight for environmental justice, the slogan should be “Bayelsa first before others.”

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