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Buhari seeks inter-ministerial actions on desertification

Buhari to attend Commonwealth conference on governance, climate change in Rwanda

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed collaboration among ministries of the environment, water resources, agriculture and rural development, power, and all other relevant stakeholders in combating desertification in Nigeria.

The President speaking on Thursday in Nairobi, Kenya, during a sideline meeting with Ibrahim Thiaw, the executive secretary of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), also charged states affected by desertification to join in the collaboration

President Buhari, who is attending the special session of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP@50), particularly, charged the 11 states prone to drought and desert encroachment, under the aegis of Northern Governors’ Forum to join in the battle to reclaim their lands.

The President equally directed full cooperation between Nigeria and UNCCD in the prelude to the forthcoming meeting to combat desertification billed for Cote D’Ivoire in May 2022.

Thiaw said apart from the meeting in Cote D’Ivoire, climate change conference would hold in Egypt later in the year, noting that “the Conference of the Parties (COP) would be coming back to Africa after 11 years.”

Read also:  APC convention: Sheriff pledges obedience to Buhari, party

On desertification, he said Africa lost about 60 percent of its arable land in the past 50 years, leading to a challenge of feeding the people.

“Land degradation is about food, peace and security. And land restoration provides multiple solutions. It brings carbon back to the soil when you cultivate the land,” the executive secretary said.

He noted that no one qualifies more to speak on large scale restoration of land, than the Nigerian leader, who is also the president of the Great Green Wall, submitting that Nigeria has the greatest stretch of the wall, which is over 1,000 kilometers.

On drought, Thiaw said it was a phenomenon that had always existed, “but is now much more severe, and a global issue.”

He said President Buhari’s leadership was important to drive the process of tackling the various germane issues on desertification, drought, and land restoration.