Land degradation: Expert cautions Nigerians

An environment expert at the Department of Drought and Desertification Amelioration, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Bala Gukut, has advised Nigerians to take measures to reduce land degradation in the country.
Gukut, a deputy director said that Nigerians, especially those living in rural communities, should do everything possible to protect the land for useful developmental purposes.
According to him, “It is unfortunate that people do not accept change; they are not ready to adjust from the activities which their forefathers practiced even when you educate them on the implications.
“There are some activities which our forefathers practised that are currently affecting our lands; now we have discovered that if people continue with such activities, it will cause more harm to our land.
“We try to let people know that human activities such as bush burning and cutting of trees, among other activities, can cause land degradation. But people are not ready to accept the change and embrace our concept; this has become a big challenge to us.
They often say:’ we have been cutting our trees for firewood even without replacing them. “We put fire in our lands and do other activities; we don’t see any negative effect and our forest is still healthy for us; we cannot accept this change,”
Gukut therefore urged the citizens to embrace the concept of land degradation by neutralizing their activities, saying that such efforts would promote the achievement of environmental sustainability by 2030.
He added that the ministry was partnering with relevant stakeholders to ensure the restoration of degraded lands across the country.

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