The European Union (EU) Ambassador to Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Mrs Samuela Isopi, said the union has committed five million euros (€5m) to conserve wildlife and forestry in Cross River.
Isopi stated this on Friday when she was received with other delegates in Calabar by the Cross River Governor, Senator Bassey Otu.
She stressed that the delegation is in the state as part of activities to support wildlife conservation in the state, as well as carrying out other interventions worth €1.5m.
Ambassador Isopi stated that the EU is proud to partner in the conservation of wildlife in Cross River State and is willing to commit an additional €3.5m to prevent illegal logging, poaching and support communities even outside gaming reserves.
The Envoy explained that the initiative aims to raise awareness among local communities about protecting wildlife and promoting climate sustainability and biodiversity.
Receiving the EU delegation, Governor Otu expressed delight at their visit, describing it as a historic visit and commended the European Union for its cooperation and support, especially in the areas of biodiversity and climate sustainability.
He said the state and the EU have a shared vision in terms of green economy, stressing that the state offers a conducive environment for sustainable economic investment.
The Governor assured his guests of improved security situation, highlighting the state’s potential in agriculture, mining, biodiversity, and education, while stressing his administration’s commitment to carbon reduction and a climate-friendly state with the floating of a Green Bond in Luxembourg in a few weeks’ time.
“While I commend your being here, let me assure you that the state is ready for partnership and investment such as that the EU is bringing.
“We share a common vision in supporting and preserving the rich biodiversity that our state is known for as well as committed to climate change initiatives.
“To demonstrate our seriousness here, we will be floating a Green Bond in Luxembourg in a few weeks’ time. I urge you to take the message back that Cross River State is building a sustainable sub-national, given our strategic location around the Gulf of Guinea.
“Our security is progressively improving and your businesses and investors will find a lot of potential in agriculture, mining, biodiversity, and education.
“However, the migrant crisis in European borders offers an opportunity for the EU to invest in sub-nationals such as ours to stem the tide of migrants seeking for greener pasture,” the Governor stated.