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The implementation of the Second National Communication project on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change has reached 70 per cent completion.

The Assistant Director, Special Climate Change Unit of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Yerima Tarfa, disclosed in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Tuesday.

Tarfa said that the preparation of the National Communication is an obligation on all parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to which Nigeria became a party in 1994.

He said the project was aimed at mainstreaming climate change issues into development and sectoral planning and policy through national capacity building.

According to him, the NC gives baseline information on national circumstances as it relates to climate change and allows for intervention and mainstreaming into national development plans.

The SNC is expected to intimate other parties to the convention about Nigeria's national circumstance with respect to greenhouse gases composition in the country's atmosphere.

Information in the SNC would include vulnerability, adaptation and abatement analyses of the impacts of climate change as well as what options were available to mitigate the resultant effects.

The document would form the basis on which future auditing of climate situation in the country would be carried out, he said.

Tarfa explained that the document would assist the Conference of the Parties to the Convention in assessing how far each party was complying with the implementation of the convention especially the aspect which had to do with Green House gas emissions.

According to him, this is in line with the UNDP corporate goal to integrate global environmental concerns and commitments into national policy and also contribute to progress towards ensuring environmental sustainability.

Tafar said the project would encourage research in scientific, technological, technical and socio-economic fields as well as cooperation in systematic observations and data storage related to climate system.

According to him, Nigeria submitted its First National Communication document to the UNFCCC in Bonn, Germany, in November 2003.

The document provided the baseline information on inventories of greenhouse gases, mitigations, vulnerabilities and adaptation to climate change, awareness and education activities and proposed projects for further monitoring and mitigating climate change, he said.

'SNC is a continuation of activities performed under the First National Communication (FNC) and other studies/activities undertaken after the FNC.

'It will provide systematic information on the trends in climate change indicators in Nigeria based on available national data on systematic observations and research on future climate scenarios.

'It will also articulate programme for public education, carbon trade under the Clean Development Mechanism and other relevant mechanism to improve adaptation to climate change in the country,'' he said.

Meanwhile, 20 countries across the world, including five from Africa, had as at December 2009, submitted their SNC to the UNFCCC, Tarfa said.

He said that even though Nigeria was behind schedule, the project was progressing well as the consultants in the thematic groups had submitted their draft reports to the SCCU.

Meanwhile, the a member of one of the groups, Dr Ernest Afiesimama of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Lagos, identified some of the contraints facing the groups to include the power supply situation in the country, inadequate funding and the lack of necessary data.

Afiesimama said: 'Funding is a major constraint. What we have received in terms of funding is 25 per cent of what is required to do this job.

'These are studies that should serve as input to national planning; I thought that government should have provided enough resources to get fundamental information; one of the building blocks to fast-track development in the country.''

He, however, said that the project was on course as the consultants had resolved to make personal sacrifices to produce a good document..

NAN learnt that funding for the project is through a uniform envelope to all developing countries from the Global Environment Facility (GEF). The envelope is irrespective of country's size, population or circumstance. (NAN)