Nigeria's priority at the forthcoming `Rio+20' conference is on harnessing alternative energy that would boost power supply in the country, the Minister of Environment, Hajia Hadiza Mailafia, said on Tuesday.
Mailafia said this in Abuja at a news conference to mark the World Environment Day and also brief journalists on the country's preparations for the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) tagged `Rio+20'.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Day (June 5) went uncelebrated in Nigeria due to the June 3 Dana Airline plane crash in Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos, in which 153 passengers, including crew died.
The Federal Government, consequently, declared a three-day mourning.
The conference, scheduled to hold in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from June 20 to June 22, is being organised in pursuance of the UN General Assembly Resolution 64/236 (A/RES/64/236).
It will mark the 20th anniversary of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) also held in Rio de Janeiro, and the 10th anniversary of the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The conference is expected to attract Heads of State and Government or other representatives and come out with a focused political document.
The conference will focus on two themes -- a green economy in the context of sustainable development poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development.
The seven priority areas to be highlighted at the conference include decent jobs, energy, sustainable cities, food security and sustainable agriculture, water, oceans and disaster readiness.
The minister said that the country had concluded preparations for the conference following consultations with all stakeholders in the environmental sector.
The minister used the opportunity to decry the extent of land and coastal resources degradation in the country, particularly within the last three decades.
She said that the phenomenon, resulting from erosion particularly in South East and South West, constituted a major challenge.
On the Green Wall Sahara programme, she said that it was designed to tackle desert encroachment in states close to the Sahara Desert and urged governors of the affected states to ensure adequate participation in the programme.
Mailafia also urged the media to assist the government by creating the needed awareness to ensure the achievement of sustainable development in the country.
``The ministry, in accordance with its mandate, has tried, with the support of the media, to educate and sensitise the public on understand the phenomenon of climate change," she said.