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FG moves to safeguard environment, enhance development in North

The Federal Ministry of Environment has launched a 20 Strategic Catchment Management Plans (SCMP) study for the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project aimed…

The Federal Ministry of Environment has launched a 20 Strategic Catchment Management Plans (SCMP) study for the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project aimed at safeguarding the environment and enhancing sustainable development in northern states of the country and the FCT.

The study, which is to last for two years, is being carried out by a consultant, Mecon Geology and Engineering Services Ltd.

The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, while speaking at the contract signing with the consultant for the development of the catchment management plan in Abuja on Monday, said the initiative will impact the lives of citizens and the health of the environment by ensuring sustainable management and utilization of water resources.

He described catchments as areas where water is collected and drained into natural or man-made outlets; adding that they constitute the lifeblood of ecosystems, supporting livelihoods, agriculture, and biodiversity.

“As we all know, catchments are vital ecosystems that support livelihoods, provide high-quality water, and sustain biodiversity.

“However, they face numerous challenges, including soil erosion, poor waste management, and climate change. The SCMP is designed to address these issues through efficient, effective, and sustainable management practices.”

He said the purpose of the catchment management plan is to provide a number of agreed investments in infrastructure and other interventions and actions meant to help resolve conflict; conserve and protect the catchment and its natural resources, and ensure equitable access to and use of water resource.

Earlier in his remarks, the ACReSAL National Project Coordinator (NPC), Alhaji Abdulhamid Umar, said the successful implementation of the plan will have numerous benefits for the country, adding, “It will help to ensure the long-term health of our water resources, protect vulnerable ecosystems, and support sustainable development.

“The plan’s implementation will help us balance human needs with environmental protection, ensuring a resilient and thriving catchment area for future generations.”

He said the plan is the result of collaborative efforts and stakeholders’ engagement, expressing gratitude for the support and input from all parties involved.

Minister of State for Environment, Ishaq Adekunle Salako, in his remarks, said the development of the plan would help in addressing the issue of food production and food security which he said, remains A priority of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

On his part, the MD of Mecon Geology and Engineering Services Ltd, Chuka Offodile, assured that his company will deliver quality data that will guide the government or private entities who may be desirous of any form of investment within the developed strategic catchment management plan.

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