Some Great Green Wall, GGW, member countries had recently met in Abuja to share the best methodologies and practices to restore degraded lands.
The teams which met at the Food and Agriculture Organization, FAO, organized regional technical workshop on restoration, brainstormed on plant-base solutions to increase land productivity, food security, to support income generation for communities and to help mitigate and adapt to future environmental shocks and climate change.
In his speech, the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jibril, said the major aim of the workshop was to strengthen the technical capacities of the Great Green Wall member countries towards actualizing the vision of the GGW programme.
Jibril recalled that the GGW programme was implemented in 11 frontline states of Adamawa, Borno, Bauch, gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara which were most adversely affected by desertification and recurrent drought.
He said the effects of desertification in the states were enormous with respect to land degradation, large-scale crop and livestock failure, and rural-urban migration with attendant rise in poverty and social conflicts.
“In order to ensure an effective implementation of the GGW programme, we pay particular attention to community participation. Local community participation and ownership are central to the planning, implementation and management of the projects that support aims of the programme.
“We will continue to strengthen the participatory approach by involving the local communities in all interventions, as well as improve communications with our partners at all levels,” he stated.
The Minister of State, however, expressed his gratitude to the FAO and European Union, EU, and African, Carribean, Pacific, ACP, for their support in the implementation of the GGW programme through the sponsorship of the Action Against Desertification, AAD, Project.
He pleaded that the GGW initiative should not be allowed to fail, noting that they are duty bound to achieve  its objectives or face total indignation from the people.
Speaking also, FAO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Louise Setshwaelo said FAO is supporting GGWSSI because is one of the most important African flagship programmes that aims to reduce poverty and food insecurity through an integrated landscape approach that will ensure the restoration of degraded lands and the  promotion of sustainable land management practices.
Setshwaelo, represented by Assistant FAO representative in Nigeria, Mr Rabe Mani, said that the project, AAD  is contributing to the implementation of the Great Green Wall National Action plans in six African countries, adding that the plans were developed with the support of EU, African Union Commission, FAO and the Global mechanism of the UNCCD.