Minister of Environment, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said Nigeria has developed a national Action Plan for management of droughts.
Proactively, a five-year strategic plan that will engender coordinated efforts of building resilience against climate change, desertification and other climate- driven environmental challenges have been developed with key components such as awareness creation and strategic partnership between government, communities, and development Partners.
He made this known in his message to commemorate the World Desertification and Drought Day with the theme: ’Rising Up from Drought Together’.
Barr. Abdullahi added that the National Strategic Action Plan is a key plank of the Implementation Strategy of the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI). This Plan was developed in line with the Harmonized Regional Strategy of the GGW Convention.
Furthermore, Nigeria has committed to other global and regional goals such as the Bonn Challenge and Land Degradation Neutrality( LDN) and dedicated to fulfill its pledge to the African Forest Restoration Initiative that seeks to restore 100 million Hectares of degraded landscape by 2030.
“So far , over Five Hundred and Fifty-five Thousand, Four Hundred and Eight Hectares of land restoration have been recorded.
The Minister called on all stakeholders to treat land as a limited and precious natural capital, prioritize its health and push hard to restore degraded land resources. Everyone has a role to play because everyone has a stake in land use and management.
He added that we have to gathered today to demonstrate our commitment in addressing the menace of Desertification and Drought, also to reiterate that there are solutions.
Barr. Abdullahi noted that we have cooperation and strong commitment are key efforts to achieving the goals that we have committed towards achieving national targets.
He stressed that growing human population and roaring consumption are putting unsustainable pressures on the natural resources we depend on for survival. Our misuse and abuse of land and water is changing fertile land into deserts.
“The matter requires even more attention now as Drought is a major driver of land degradation particularly in the drylands.
“When the land is degraded its productivity declines, greenhouse gas emissions increases and biodiversity is depleted.
He however, stated that Desertification and Drought are among the greatest threats to global sustainable development, especially in developing countries and drought is increasing in frequency and severity and is predicted to affect over three-quarters of the world’s population by 2050.
According to World Metrological Organization,the number and duration of droughts has increased by 29 percent since 2000, as compared to the two previous decades. With the increasing impacts of climate change, it is obvious that no country would be immune to drought incidence.
“Covid -19 has reminded us of how much we depend on each other and our natural resources to heal and adapt to the hostile impact of Climate Change, this underscore the need for collaborative action combined with political will , and sustained investment to ensure natural resources conservation.
The Great Green Wall in Africa is a wonderful example of what we can potentially achieve together. We are creating a mosaic of green and productive landscapes, right across Africa, and harnessing the Sahel’s abundant natural resources to power the future – a future that creates jobs and rebuilds livelihoods, raising millions out of poverty.
In his welcome remarks, the Permanent Secretary of Federal Ministry of Environment, Engr. Hassan Musa stressed that Desertification and Drought management will play crucial role in strengthening the resilience of rural communities against climate shocks by securing and improving the provision of vital ecosystem service, which addresses issues such as food security, income equality, poverty, and resource availability.
According to him, Desertification and Drought management are directly linked to improved quality of life, socio-economic progress. environmental protection and sustainable use of natural resources, thus, managing the menace creates multiple benefits and will make a direct contribution to achieving all our commitments and that of the SDGs.
“Nigeria signify its interest in joining the holistic United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) process to address land degradation through setting voluntary preliminary Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) targets to be achieved by 2030.
Engr. Musa commend the unwavering interest and commitment of all participants at this very important celebration, especially our development Partners, for their technical and financial support.