FG to restore 4m hectares of degraded land | Dailytrust

FG to restore 4m hectares of degraded land

Executive Secretary of PTAD, Barrister Sharon Ikeazor
Executive Secretary of PTAD, Barrister Sharon Ikeazor

The federal government has expressed commitment to restoring four million hectares of degraded land in the country.

Speaking at the inaugural meeting of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), in Abuja, Mrs Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for Environment, said Nigeria has made a commitment to the AFR100 initiative, to restore four million hectares of degraded landscape.

The minister, who was represented by Saghir el Mohammed, Director of Press at the ministry, said AFR100 will help fast-track attainment of food security, recover degraded land, increase climate change resilience and mitigation as well as combat poverty.

“This will not only contribute to the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration but also deliver on the objectives of the three global Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs).

“The agreements are UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and UN Convention on Biological Diversity (UNCBD).

“So, let us work together to accelerate forest landscape restoration to fulfil the commitment made to the AFR100 initiative and the Bonn challenge.

“Let us harmonise and integrate the various interventions that are underway on forest landscape restoration to exploit synergies and avoid duplication of efforts,’’ she said.

Ikeazor further said 13 billion hectares of forest are lost to land conversion for agricultural uses such as pastures and cropland every year in Africa.

“The loss of land has detrimental effects on regional water availability and soil fertility. More than 70 per cent of all-natural ecosystems have been transformed to produce food and animal feeds.

“Illegal logging is threatening forests worldwide, home to several indigenous people, communities and wildlife.

“Desertification, land degradation induced by deforestation, overgrazing, bush burning and mining activities among others are increasing at an alarming rate in African countries,’’ she said.

The minister added that AFR100 was poised to restore 100 million hectares of forest and degraded landscape across Africa by 2030.Ikeazor said 32 countries had pledged to restore 128 million hectares thus surpassing the commitment goal.

Mr Hassan Musa, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said AFR 100 was established to reverse degradation in forest and landscape.

Musa, represented by Mr Charles Ikea, Director, Erosion and Pollution Control in the ministry, said the initiative would create awareness and promote sustainable practices in the country.

Mr Lealen Barhanu, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Country Representative said the UNDP would continue to support government to ensure a healthy and sustainable environment.

He said the inauguration of the AFR100 initiative showed the ministry’s commitment to restoring land and conserving the environment.

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