Restoration of degraded land will create jobs, food security — NCF
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) said addressing desertification by restoring degraded lands, would create about 10 million jobs and provide food security to 20 million people in the country.
Mr Oladapo Soneye, NCF Head of Communication, revealed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Saturday in Abuja.
Soneye said that possible ways to address desertification was through effective collaboration from all levels of government, Non- Governmental Organisations, individuals both locally and globally, among others.
He explained that desertification was a persistent degradation of dry-land ecosystems by climatic variations and human activities.
He said that addressing desertification, reforestation, climate change and other environmental challenges should be a major programme which individuals, corporate organisations, government agencies and other stakeholders must intensify efforts through strong awareness.
He said that the NCF had a workshop with some relevant stakeholders recently, aimed at enhancing biodiversity mainstreaming in the actions of the Great Green Wall (GGW) under the aegis of the Pan-African Agency of GGW (PAGGW).
He explained that the GGW initiative aimed to address the issues of desertification, land degradation and bio-diversity loss.
He said it would also address climate change resilience by ecosystems and communities, and improve food security in about 11 countries of the Sahel region in Africa.
He said that the workshop would go a long way in addressing desertification, as such, creating opportunities for a sustainable farming and restored patched of natural habitat.
According to him, the workshop is to exchange experiences and strengthen synergies towards sharing planning, while putting together a roadmap for further development of the regional concept.
“However, years of over-farming, overgrazing, coupled with the growing issues related to climate change, have led to increased desertification, threatening livelihoods of millions of people and the survival of wildlife.
“The collaboration will ensure implementation of activities at local and national levels, conservation of biodiversity and improvement of communities’ livelihood for sustainable conservation,” he said.
Soneye said that the foundation had been implementing a tree planting project as part of their green recovery strategy along the GGW corridor in five states.
He said that the NCF had been working with the National Agency of the Great Green Wall (NAGGW), to ensure that degraded lands were restored.
He added that partnering with the agency had improved livelihood of local communities and integrating biodiversity through agricultural integrated community farms.
He said that the foundation also built capacity of local communities in sustainable livelihoods, including mat weaving, bee keeping and improved fishing methods in Hadejia Nguru Wetlands, Yobe State.
The NCF communication head said that more funds should be released to encourage NGOs, CSOs and other relevant organisations who were determined to address environmental challenges in the country.
He explained that the NCF was dedicated to nature conservation for sustainable development, focusing on environmental education, biodiversity conservation, policy advocacy and poverty reduction with a vision of achieving a better nature.