The Federal Government has partnered with the World Bank to establish Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACRESAL) programme to remediate drylands and wetlands across the country.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, at the 16th meeting of the National Council on Environment, in Abuja on Thursday.
He said the theme of the meeting was “Pursuit of Zero Emission, A Trajectory Towards Global Environment Renaissance”.
Abdullahi said that the essence of the meeting was to have relevant stakeholders’ ideas and knowledge that would proffer solutions to the environmental challenges and would improve the effort of the semi-arid areas in the country.
He said that the ministry had commenced discussion on the establishment of the National Institute of Environmental Studies, to provide ideas for addressing environmental challenges.
According to him, Nigeria has also assumed the leadership of the Pan African Great Green Wall (PAGGW), and the essence is to address land degradation in the country.
He said that President Muhammadu Buhari was elected as the President of the Conference of Heads of State and Government for a two-year term.
“Accordingly, Mr. President is driving the funding initiative under the Great Green Wall (GGW) accelerator to fund each country’s priorities.
“Closely aligned to the objectives of the PAGGW is the need for a robust tree planting campaign while the president launched the campaign on the sidelines of the PAGGW Council of Ministers Meeting on June 16.”
“States are encouraged to drive their tree planting campaign so that collectively we can meet the 25 million trees target by 2023.
Abdullahi said that the world was being confronted with enormous environmental challenges as he called for urgent collective step-up action by everyone, irrespective of social status, religion, or political leaning for drastic restoration of the natural ecosystem.
The minister gave assurance that the government would continue to provide every necessary support required to ensure a successful journey to net-zero emission.
“Government is committed to ensuring that we all live in harmony with nature and brighter hope of sustainable development,” he said.
Commenting on the partnership, the Representative of the Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Nigeria, Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, said that the theme was a call for action to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emission.
Suleiman said that the signing of the Climate Change Act into law by President Muhammadu Buhari would help Nigeria to achieve environmental sustainability goals.
“The vision of Nigeria aligns with FAO global efforts in supporting its member countries in their efforts to climate change adaptation and mitigation, working towards climate-resilient and low-emission agri-food systems.
In his remarks, Dr. Jean Bakole, Country Representative and Regional Director, United Nations for Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), said that the organisation was committed to supporting Nigeria in promoting sustainable industrial development.
He said that UNIDO was positioned to support member states in identifying and addressing emerging environmental issues.
“Therefore, UNIDO will continue to provide technical support to Nigeria on achieving a net-zero status through the promotion of clean technology and renewable energy,” he said.