Need to close gaps, increase synergy to ameliorate drought, desertification




Just recently the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) with other non-Governmental organisations (NGOs) brainstorm at the workshop on solutions and way forward for the amelioration of drought, land degradation, desertification and effects of climate change in the country. HELEN OJI reports.

Inappropriate land use

Land degradation and the effects of desertification have increased in the countries of the Sahara and Sahel due to anthropological activities, particularly inappropriate land use. Climate change and other indirect threats such as rapid population growth have exacerbated the situation. The economies of these countries are being more threatened, the current situation has led to increased vulnerability of people and the environment to disaster risk including floods, drought and increased poverty.

The workshop is facilitated through the collaborative efforts of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall(NAGGW) and the international Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) especially in the implementation processes of the GGW initiative in Nigeria over the years, and with the theme “The Prioritization of Indicators for Monitoring Sustainable Land Management within the Great Green Wall Operational Areas in Nigeria.” The project has developed a sizeable human capacities across sectors with the sole purpose of closing gaps that impinge on effective implementation of the great green wall programme in participating countries. Investment as a consequence of linking the private, public sectors and other actors require seamless tracking of progress of such investment. The haphazard nature of gathering data and reporting in the diverse initiatives especially as it affects the GGW initiative needed to be harmonized to guide effective implementation processes across the African sub-region.

Increased synergy among stakeholders

According to the Director-General of National Agency for the Great Green Wall, (NAGGW), Dr. Bukar Hassan, it has made significant investment in sustainable land and water management, improved land use planning within the Great Green Wall operational areas.

He added that international Union for the Conservation of Nature through the Global Dryland Initiative designed a project ” closing the gaps in great green wall, linking sectors and stakeholders for increased synergy and scaling-up.

“The project has developed a sizeable human capacities across sectors with the sole purpose of closing gaps that impinge on effective implementation of the great green wall programme in participating countries,” he stressed.

According to him, the haphazard nature of gathering data and reporting in the diverse initiatives especially as it affects the GGW initiative needed to be harmonized, to guide effective implementation processes across the African Sub-region.

The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Abel Olumuyiwa stressed that there is need to establish a systematic way and structured approach through smart indicators for tracking and reporting on the progress made towards achieving sustainable land management in the GGW implementation process.

Also speaking, the Programme Officer, Global Dryland Initiative, Mr. Chris Magero, said the 11countries of the Sahara and Sahel are addressing the land degradation through sustainable Land management and sustainable agriculture.

He added that when land are degraded it means agriculture production becomes less and we have less primary production in terms of pasture, it affect food production for the local communities.

“The 25% of land degradation affect alot of population that are vulnerable to climate change, livelihood including food and water.

The FAO representative in Nigeria and ECOWAS, Mr Fred Kafeero, said there is more focus to boost government efforts in ensuring that the agricultural and environment sectors are on a growth path and contributing to people’s economy, food security and sustainable environment.

Kafeero stressed that the program is guided by the country program framework is responding and providing humanitarian assistance to support agriculture and food security in crisis affected areas, as well as contributing to the long-term sustainable development of agriculture and environment in Nigeria.

“The FAO is currently strengthening institutional capacity for improved data and information systems for policy planning and tracking the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) related to food and agriculture at the national and state levels to inform the policymakers on appropriate decisions to make.

Restoration of degraded dryland

Similarly, the UN REDD and Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF) Projects, which is used by FAO to support government to develop a sub-national forest reference emissions level for Cross River state, was up scaled to National Forest Reference Emission level. The development sub-national forest monitoring system action plan for Cross River, Ondo and Nasarawa states was also up-scaled to National Forest Monitoring System including the capacity building of government officials in the use of modern laser equipment for national forest inventory through FAO open source satellite imagery (SEPAL and Collect Earth) to produce an updated land cover land use change maps Atlas for Nigeria.

“Functional 240 member community based project management committees were set-up at State, LGA and community levels to govern, manage and protect restoration sites and other natural resources, put a total of 2,240 Ha of degraded dryland areas under restoration in 7 LGAs, 19 communities including over 65 small villages and hamlets, utilized over 21,000 kg seeds of Woody and herbaceous fodder species and planted over 205,000 seedlings raised in community nurseries for restoration and distributed over 65,000 seedlings freely to interested community members for their individual tree planting on their private farms and lands.

“The FAO Constructed (8) solar powered boreholes for the provision of clean water for humans and animals consumption, established (8) community nurseries and micro-gardens sites with over 1,400 rural people benefiting from income generating activities.

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