The federal government has replanted more than 20 million hectares of land across the country as part of its afforestation/reforestation program, Environment Minister Mohammed Abdullahi said Thursday.
In his keynote address at the 16th meeting of the National Council on Environment in Abuja, the minister said the move is part of the government’s efforts to decarbonise.
He said: “We are promoting and initiating climate-positive and wildlife-positive investments to increase adaptability and build ecosystem resilience, while improving the livelihoods of local communities and indigenous peoples.
“With funding from annual credits, sovereign green bonds, the private sector, the ministry has planted more than 20 million hectares of land under the National Afforestation/Reforestation Program, targeting degraded forest reserves, degraded landscapes and fragile ecosystems across all regions. ecological zones of the country.
“While more than 24,000 hectares of degraded land and erosion sites have been reclaimed or softened with the support of development partners.”
Abdullahi stated that Nigeria’s forest ecosystems existed in a context where ripple effects of population and economic growth across the country had caused the rapid depletion of forests at an estimated annual rate of 0.72 to 2.38 percent.
He said: “The GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from the forest sector in Nigeria mainly result from deforestation and forest degradation from land use conversion.
“And the main drivers are small-scale and commercial agricultural expansion, heavy reliance on wood fuel, especially firewood and charcoal, unsustainable timber extraction, urban sprawl, grazing, forest fires, large-scale infrastructure development and mining.”
On the subject of climate change adaptation, he stated that a national communication document on adaptation had been developed, which provided Nigeria with a mechanism to report priorities, implementation and support needs, plans and actions.
This, he said, was in addition to a National Adaptation Plan Framework to aid in adaptation planning and governance.
He said the Federal Ministry of the Environment would use its strong partnership with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to ensure implementation and, if necessary, redesign agricultural policies and programs to promote sustainable and climate-smart agriculture, promote food security and to benefit the environment.
“In addition to the Glasgow Declaration, we will not give in to joining forces to pursue a sustainable transition to land use that is essential to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, including reducing vulnerability to the impacts of climate change and keeping the rise in global average temperature well below two degrees Celsius and aiming to limit it to 1.5,” said Abdullahi.
He added: “The science shows that further acceleration of efforts is needed if we are to collectively keep 1.5°C within reach. Together we can fight climate change, achieve resilient and inclusive growth, and halt and reverse forest loss and land degradation.