Edel-Quinn Ijeoma Agbaegbu (Nee Nneji-Anejionu),renowned biodiversity advocate and Nigeria’s Country Representative in the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Voluntary Peer Review (VPR) Process of National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan(NBSAP), a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) framework,has been appointed as member of a CBD seven-member team for thevoluntary peer review of biodiversity implementation inthe Republic of Uganda.

The cheering news was confirmed by Mrs Agbaegbu in an exclusive interview with Verbatim last week.

Agbaegbu who was approached to confirm the news item said to Verbatim: ‘’Yes, I can confirm toyou that I will be heading for an in-country visit toUganda in October this year as part of a team to review Uganda. I have received a formal notification letterfrom the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Environment Programme in Montreal, Canada. It will be a wonderful experience to cherish’’.

Giving greater insight on the upcoming assignment, Mrs Agbaegbu explained that she was selected in her capacity as Nigeria’s VPRCountry Representativeand that the assignment is to be undertaken by four Countries which include;Philippine, Zimbabwe, Madagascar and Nigeria with a three-man support team from the UNEP CBD Secretariat, Canada.

She further stated that the four counties will be represented by one person each, together with the three representatives from the Secretariat of the Convention to make up the Ugandan team. ‘’The assignment is already in progress. We have successfully concluded our first tele-conference and are currently carrying out the desk study review of the country which shall be preceded bythe in-country visit in October’’, She said.

The overall objective of the CBD voluntary peer review process is to help Parties (countries) to improve their individual and collective capacities to more effectively implement the Convention. The specific objective is to access the development and implementation of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs) in the context of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and produce specific recommendations for the Parties under review. It also provides opportunities for peer learning for Parties directly involved and other parties.

Since her appointment as Nigeria’s Country Representative, Mrs Agbaegbu has participated in some CBD activities such as the 2019 International Day for Biological Diversity in May, with the theme; ‘‘Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health” and the Open-Ended online discussion on Post-2020 BiodiversityImplementation Plan, in July 2019.

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