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ACReSAL Initiative Fosters Peace and Sustainability in Northern Nigeria

By Faridat Salifu

The enduring challenge of resource competition in Northern Nigeria, often resulting in conflicts among communities, farmers, and pastoralists, finds a proactive response in the ACReSAL project. This initiative strategically endeavors to promote peaceful co-existence by enhancing vegetative cover and advocating for sustainable natural resource management.
A significant milestone was recently reached during the project’s implementation support mission’s wrap-up session at the Abuja Continental Hotel. A pivotal aspect of this achievement lies in the deliberate inclusion of pastoralists in the peace-building committee, aligning with the project’s subcomponent B1, ‘Community Strengthening.’ This component focuses on empowering local communities for sustainable natural resource use and management.
The project places a strong emphasis on fostering peace and understanding through inclusive engagement with pastoralists, aiming to instill a sense of ownership and belonging within the integrated catchment management area. Support for local project implementation committees is designed to enhance social cohesion and conflict resolution capacities at the grassroots level.
A noteworthy feature of the initiative is its commitment to gender-inclusive actions that empower women within participating communities. This provides women with a platform for active participation in the project’s activities, acknowledging the crucial role they play in sustainable resource management.
The recent mission underscored the significance of culturally sensitive community engagement, recognizing the value of local customs, languages, and traditional practices in addressing community challenges. This approach enhances community buy-in and trust.
By leveraging local institutions and solutions, the ACReSAL project is actively building inclusive committees and institutions vital for sustainable peace-building. This strategy ensures the project’s long-term success, impact, and sustainability.
Through its holistic approach, integrating natural resource management, community engagement, and empowerment, the ACReSAL project is poised to make a meaningful contribution to peaceful co-existence in Northern Nigeria. By addressing the root causes of conflicts in the region, it strives to create a lasting impact on the social fabric of local communities and the broader ecological landscape.

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