The National Agency for Great Green Wall (NAGGW) has said it is committed to improving the livelihood of over 20 million Nigerians by 2030, adding that the agency would rehabilitate degraded land to boost agricultural production in Nigeria.
Specifically, the Minister of Environment, Mohammed H. Abdullahi, at a workshop training on Opportunity Mapping for Improved Decision Making and Monitoring of NAGGW’s activities, organised by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), noted that to achieve its purpose, NAGGW plans to establish 13,000km of shelterbelt, 250,000Ha of woodlots, and 250,000Ha of community orchards.
Also, Abdullahi described the objective of the Great Green Wall (GGW) programmes as highly ambitious, saying it aims to restore and sustainably manage land in the Sahel-Saharan region to address both land degradation and poverty.
He said, “The government of Nigeria has a well-established collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, starting with the Ogoniland programme in 2009 and more recently on the HYPREP project for environmental remediation in Rivers State.
“As we are well aware, the world is in the midst of simultaneously addressing multiple risks: the Climate Emergency and Related Water Risks; Food Security; Biodiversity Loss; Pollution and the list goes on. Nonetheless, amid the gloomy forecasts, there are some positive takeaways and the Government of Nigeria is taking positive steps to mitigate these risks as much as possible within the resources available.”
Furthermore, Abdullahi listed the ongoing programmes of NAGGW to include: strengthening resilient to climate change, promotion of climate smart agricultural practices to enhance food security and climate change adaptation; improvement of critical rural infrastructure for enhanced socioeconomic development; efficient sources for rural energy to reduce deforestation and combat climate change, among others.
According to hm, the agency focuses on 11 states most affected by desertification, which are Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara, constituting about 35% of the country’s total land area.
On his part, the Director General of NAGGW, Dr. Yusuf Maina- Bukar explained that the GGW programme is a Pan-African Initiative adopted by the African Union in 2007 as a strategy to address land degradation and desertification in Sahel and Sahara regions of Africa.
According to him, GGW programme interventions will boost food production and support communities to adapt to climate change variation and variability.