The House of Representatives on Thursday, May 20, 2021 stressed the need for the establishment of an African regional parliamentary assembly of the Sahel and Sahara for member states of the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep Johnson Oghuma (APC-Edo) on the floor of the House, in Abuja.
A total of 11 countries – Burkina Faso, Chad, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan – comprise the intervention zones for the Great Green Wall initiative.
Moving the motion, the lawmaker noted that the recent establishment of the GGW agencies in member states had given rise to an integrated ecosystem management approach as well as renewed interest in sustainable land management in the Sahel and North of the Sahara.
He added that this had also galvanised action to implement the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and leveraged a high degree of political will and leadership from member states.
The lawmaker stated that those actions had increased awareness and several donors had also mobilised substantial investments which had been offering opportunities for rapid progress.
He added that there was need to sustain the momentum gained over the years by improving the legislative interface between member states, to overcome past mistakes.
Oghuma noted that the purpose of the project remained the greater implementation of policies for sustainable land management in the Sahel, inter-sectoral coordination and engagement of marginalised groups, through enhanced investments in the GGW countries.
The House, therefore, urged the Minister of Environment to liaise with its counterparts in the GGW States to enlist the African Regional Parliamentary Assembly of the Sahel and the Sahara member states on GGW.
The lawmakers said this should form part of the agenda for discussion during the next meeting of the conference of Heads of States and Governments of the GGW, via the Council of Ministers.
The House also mandated the Committee on Environment to ensure compliance.
By Femi Ogunshola