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World Desertification Day: Govt reiterates commitment to tackle environmental challenges

The Federal Government has reiterated its commitment to ensuring lasting solution to environmental challenges by adopting sustainable land management practices across the country.

Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar
Minister of Environment, Dr Muhammad Mahmood Abubakar

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, Minister of Environment, spoke at the commemoration of 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day, organised by his ministry on Thursday, June 17, 2021 in Abuja.

Abubakar said the government had developed policies, plans building institutional and legislative capacities to enhance effective and far-reaching actions to reduce the impacts of desertification and drought on the citizenry.

According to him, government recognises the importance of partnership in tackling desertification and it has facilitated the involvement of other actors, including the private sectors as well as donor organisations.

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Abubakar said the government was concerned about the disruption of ecological system caused by poor land use, population pressure and the devastating activities of insurgents in the North-Eastern part of the country.

He said that the government was also worried about the dire consequences of land degradation, loss of lives and means of livelihood and had put in place the North-East Development Commission.

Abubakar added that the effort was to restore human dignity and bring succour to the people living in the area.

He urged Nigerians to cultivate the culture of planting trees as well as ensuring that any tree cut down was replaced, as this would serve as protection from windstorm and erosion.

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Malam Muhammad Bello, FCT Minister said that desertification and drought were associated with environmental challenges such as reduction in food production, increase in hunger, disease, malnutrition among others.

Bello called on all stakeholders to join the global efforts to reclaim land lost to degradation and halt the rapid increase of desertification in the country.

Dr Mansur Matazu, Director-General, Nigerian Metrological Agency, said that the agency would consistently work with the ministry to build back a better environment.

Matazu said that the effort would help to protect fragile ecosystem and ensure sustainable environmental development of the country.

The theme of the 2021 World Desertification and Drought Day is: ‘Restoration, Land, Recovery’, “We Build Better with Healthy Land’’. 

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