WELCOME ADDRESS OF THE HEAD OF SECRETARIAT OF THE RIVERS STATE PARTNERS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (RSPSD) MR. I. DIENYE PEPPLE AT THE ENVIRONMENTAL SECTOR MEETING OF THE PLATFORM
Distinguished ladies and gentlemen,
It is my pleasure to welcome all of you to this environmental sector meeting. Almost all the organizations here present are members of the Rivers State Partners for Sustainable Development (RSPSD) and so know what the platform is about. However for the benefit of those who may not know, RSPSD is a partnership platform for all stakeholders involved in development activities in Rivers State. The platform was established to address the myriad of developmental problems facing the State. These problems include amongst other things the absence of collaboration between development practitioners leading to no sharing of lessons learnt in development work and research findings, and no feedback, to guide future interventions.
To address these problems the platform has set up an online socio economic data bank for Rivers State. This can be accessed via our website; www.rspsd.org. We facilitate and manage collaborations and alliances for the sustainable development of Rivers State and for the mutual benefit of the partnering organizations. We assist member organizations to leverage donor funds by identifying opportunities, putting together the necessary partnerships to harness the opportunity and providing technical support for conceptualization and proposal writing. By so doing, we help weak organizations to leverage on the knowhow of stronger members. Through our periodic meetings we create avenues for lesson sharing, development information dissemination and networking amongst development practitioners. We organize general meetings, bloc meetings and sector meetings.
We are gathered here today for our Environmental sector meeting. Our plan is to organize four sector meetings this year, (One in each quarter) and this is our second sector meeting. The first was the agricultural sector meeting which was held in March this year. A number of startling revelations came out of that meeting. For example we were informed at the meeting by CBN that there was SME fund for the State which the state had not accessed. We were also informed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture that She had thousands of oil palm seedlings meant for the State that farmers in the State were not collecting. There were so many other beneficial information and lessons shared at the meeting. Today we expect nothing less.
The environmental sector is one sector that is at the heart and mouth of everyone dwelling and doing business in the Niger Delta. The environmental challenges of the delta region are enormous. In addition to the natural challenges are the manmade ones. There is no way we can overcome these challenges if we continue to approach them in the current solitary fashion many organizations have adopted. What is needed here is concerted collaborative effort. Today, we hope to hear from as many organizations as will have the opportunity to speak what they are doing or plan to do so as to know what each party is bringing to the table. At the end we will try to see how the various pieces of the jigsaw puzzle can be put together.
I cannot leave this podium without thanking the Nigeria Stability and Reconciliation Programme for accepting to host this meeting. I pray that their expectations of the meeting shall be achieved and I also pray that before we leave another organization will accept to host the next environmental sector meeting on a date that shall be agreed here today. Thank you very much and welcome once again.