FG restores over 24,000 hectares of degraded land- Minister

By Vivian Emoni

The Federal Government says that it has restored over 24,000 hectares of degraded land and planted trees on more than 20 million hectares of land across the country.

The Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the 16th meeting of National Council on Environment, in Abuja on Thursday.

Abdullahi said that the effort was made possible with the support from development partners.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the meeting is: “Pursuit of Zero Emission, A Trajectory Towards Global Environment Renaissance”.

He said that the meeting that gathered several relevant stakeholders would make far reaching resolutions aimed at moving the environment sector forward.

“The meeting has over the years become a platform where challenges in the environment sector are subjected to interrogation with a view to proffering solutions on the problems confronting the sector.

“This year’s theme aptly captures an environment in which we presently live in, an environment threatened by the debilitating effects of climate change,” he said.

The minister said that climate change has posed serious threats to nature and existence of man.

He said that human activities and naturally occurring emergencies have exacerbated the impact of global phenomenon in recent years.

“We are appalled by the various scientific reports which have called for urgent remedial actions.

“The impact of global warming occasioned by deforestation, desertification, biodiversity loss, climate change, among others have left their negative tolls on both the terrestrial and aquatic systems, with dire consequences on our planet and humans.”

Abdullahi said that plans and actions have been developed in addition to a National Adaptation Plan Framework to help with adaptation planning and governance.

According to him, giant strides have been recorded in the strengthening of the policy and legal framework.

He said that President Mohammadu Buhari on November 2021, signed into law Climate Change Act.

He said that the Act would go a long way in catalysing the realisation of the country’s climate ambitions and commitments including contribution to zero emission.

“It is important to point out that the Act among others, provides for the establishment of the National Council on Climate Change.

“The Act has also empowered to make policy and decisions on all matters related to climate change in Nigeria.

“It will as well help to develop technology for renewable energy and transition to a green economy, among others,” he said.

The minister said that one of the country’s greatest means of balancing emissions was the provision of carbon sinks and biodiversity preservation.

He said the Act had made a case for exploration of nature-based solutions.

“Amongst these solutions is the establishment of the UN-backed Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) registry,” he said.

Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Malam Musa Bello, said that the meeting was a successful gathering of the highest decision making body in the environment sector.

Bello said that the meeting would add credence to efforts of making Abuja a conference tourism hub not just in Nigeria but also on the African continent.

He encouraged Nigerians to continue to plant trees, while improving in sensitising residents on the need to protect the environment. (NAN)