Ministry of Environment has urged Nigerians to adopt sustainable agricultural system, plant appropriate tree species to protect the soils and explore the country’s forest resources for development.
The ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs Nana Fatima Mede recently disclosed this in Abuja at the event to mark World Desertification Day, WDD.
Mede said Nigerians must also be mindful of the consequences of over-exploiting their ground water resources, noting that so doing would affect the hydrological balance of the affected areas.
She said the federal government would continue to update relevant sectoral policies, legislations, regulations and laws governing environmental management in the country, adding that this could be achieved through partnership among stakeholders, including the private sector.
According to her, WDD enables Nigerians to examine the state of the environment, consider actions and address their common tasks of preserving the environment.
The permanent secretary said the WDD agenda was targeted to give a human face to environmental issues; empower people to become active agents of sustainable and equitable development; promote an understanding that communities are pivotal to changing attitudes towards environmental issues; and advocate partnership that will ensure that all nations and peoples enjoy a safer and more prosperous future.
Also, according to United Nations, desertification and land degradation affect one third of the earth’s surface, threatening the livelihood, well being and development of as many as one billion people.
It said “in Nigeria the problem of desertification is threatening the livelihood of over 43 million people. Our greatest challenge is that the most vulnerable are the less privileged in our society who cannot on their own mitigate the emerging multifaceted problems of desertification.”
Meanwhile, the permanent secretary noted that in recognition of the ugly realities of desertification, Nigeria initiated the GREAT GREEN WALL, GGW, programme as part of efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of desertification, particularly in the 11 front line states of Kebi, Zamfara, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kano, Katstina, Gombe, Yobe, Adamawa, Bauch and Borno.

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