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Nigeria, 3 others get £16.2m UK Govt grant

The United Kingdom (UK) Government said it intends to offer about £16.2 million in grants to Nigeria and three other developing countries to facilitate a united effort against plastic waste globally.

The British High Commission in Nigeria, in a statement in Lagos, said the grant, coming from UK’s £500 million Blue Planet Fund, will help tackle plastic pollution and decline of global coral reefs in Nigeria, Ghana, Indonesia and Vietnam.

UK’s Environment Secretary, George Eustice, said the Blue Planet Fund also supports many developing countries on the front line of climate change to reduce poverty and improve the health of their seas.

“Our shared ocean is a vital resource and provides habitat to precious marine life, as well as supporting the livelihoods of one in every 10 people worldwide,” Eustice was quoted.

Head of Climate Change and Energy, West Africa, Sean Melbourne, was said to have expressed delight that Nigeria joined Ghana to pioneer the campaign against plastic waste in West Africa.

“The Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP) is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to shape a more sustainable and inclusive world through the eradication of plastic pollution.

“It is uniquely equipped to bring together public, private and civil society leaders to develop joint solutions to the plastic pollution crisis that are both pragmatic and ambitious,” Melbourne said.

Our shared ocean is a vital resource and provides habitat to precious marine life, as well as supporting the livelihoods of one in every 10 people worldwide.

He noted that the programme, financed from the UK’s overseas aid budget will increase marine protection and tackle plastic pollution.

He added that marine pollution, including plastic pollution, is a significant pressure on the marine environment, threatening key species and ecosystems in the world’s ocean, which also affects the health and livelihoods of those living in coastal regions.

The statement also said “In the run up to the UK hosting the COP26 climate talks in November, the government is working with developing countries to take action to protect and restore our oceans,” it said.

According to the High Commission, the UK is also leading calls to protect at least 30 per cent of the land and at least 30 per cent of the ocean by 2030.

“Over 80 countries, including Nigeria and several other West African states, now support the marine protection target,” the statement said.

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