Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal has called for collaboration among stakeholders to address climate change and reclaim land lost to desertification in the northern parts of the country.
The minister who made the call while addressing a team of environment experts from the World Bank, including Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) officials and other stakeholders at the ACReSAL Federal Project Management Unit (FPMU), Abuja, emphasised on the urgency to tame rapid desertification encroachment.
Lawal noted that increased collaboration among the Ministries of Environment, Agriculture and Food Security, Water Resources and Sanitation, as well as the World Bank, will result in the success of the ACReSAL Project.
According to him, the partnership between the Federal Government and World Bank has led to multi-institutional machinery to stem the fast-paced degradation of landscapes of the country’s northern region. He added that ACReSAL will be pivotal in facilitating the much needed inter agency cooperation among the ministries, as well as within the 19 northern states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
This, he said, will address pervasive issues like high degradation of natural resources, poor agricultural productivity, climate risks, desertification, increased poverty rates, conflicts, violence, and weak institutional capacity.
The minister said that ACReSAL, which involves several federal and state Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), local councils, communities and civil societies, will provide solutions to desertification, flooding, climatic variability, deforestation, extensive cultivation, overgrazing, bush burning, fuel wood extraction, charcoal production, faulty irrigation systems, improper road drainage design and construction.
The various MDAs include those responsible for planning, economy, finance, works, agriculture, water resources, forests, transport, power, emergency response, as well as those focused on climate and hydrological information or watershed/basin regulation.
Story was adapted from the Guardian.