The Federal Government through the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) is set to rehabilitate 22,000 square kilometres of degraded land across the county and improve the livelihood of over 20million Nigerians by the year 2030.
The statement was issued by the Hon. M.E. Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi when he declared opened workshop training on opportunity mapping for improved decision making and monitoring organized by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with NAGGW in Abuja recently.
The Minister said NAGGW has targeted 22,000 square kilometres of degraded land across the country to be rehabilitated and also reiterated commitment to improve the livelihood of twenty million Nigerians by the year 2030.
He said the Agency has engaged baseline studies and environmental assessments, community mobilization, sanitization and awareness campaign as well as afforestation and land management to promote alternative livelihood, rural infrastructure and employment generation for the affected communities.
Earlier in his remarks, the Director General, NAGGW Dr. Yusuf Maina Bukar, said NAGGW has been collaborating with UNEP to identify and address main capacity and data gaps that would strengthen the Agency capacity to map, track and anticipate current and future activities using Geographic Information System (GIS) to improve centralized data collection.
The DG stated that, aspiration of the Agency is to curtail the menace of desertification and land degradation which pose a major threat to the Nigeria drylands and sub sahelian region. He said the major steps are taken by the Agency to combat desertification and land degradation in order to protect and restore ecosystems and provide essential ecosystem services that is fundamental to poverty reduction, enhancing food security and promotion of sustainable livelihoods. He added that the workshop was timely as the Agency targeted to continue rehabilitation of desertified and degraded lands by establishing 13,000 kilometres of shelterbelts, 250,000 hectares of woodlots and 250,000 hectares of community orchards so as to boost agricultural production and to improve the livelihood of about 20 million people by 2030.
Speaking at the event, Dr. Karen Sud-Rieux a Senior Adviser (SA) on disaster risk reduction with UNEP in Guinea via zoom emphasized on the need of an improved GIS mapping for better assessment of the situations, analysing data and effective data collection from field projects for proper implementation of the Great Green Wall (GGW) Program.
Also Senior Technical Adviser UNEP Great Green Wall of the Sahel and Sahara Focal Point Dr. Adamou Bouhari commended Nigeria Great Green Wall performance among the 11 member countries of the GGW. He said the opportunity mapping is key element of identifying risk area for corrective action.
At the event, Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) representative Dr. Fabiyi Oluseyi said FAO will continue to play a major role in expanding African GGW towards achieving food security in the continent.
Mrs. Sule Pauline
Head, Press Unit