The Federal Government is to partner with the World Bank to establish Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACRESAL), programme to remediate drylands and wetlands across the country.
The Minister of Environment, Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi, said this at the 16th meeting of National Council on Environment, in Abuja on Thursday.
Abdullahi said that the effort would improve the semi arid areas in the country.
He said that 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 solution to the environmental challenges.
He said that the ministry had commenced discussion on the establishment of National Institute of Environmental Studies, to provide ideas in addressing environmental challenges.
According to him, Nigeria has also assumed the leadership of the Pan African Great Green Wall (PAGGW), and that 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.
“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.
“There is no better time to reset our relation with nature than now,” he said.
Abdullahi said that the world was being confronted with enormous environmental challenges.
He called for urgent collective step-up action by everyone, irrespective of social status, religion, political leaning for drastic restoration of 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 ensure that we all live in harmony with nature and brighter hope of sustainable development,” he said.
The Representative of Food Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Nigeria, Mr Abubakar Suleiman, said that the theme was a call for action to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emission.
Suleiman said that the signing of 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.
“FAO over the last 40 years of establishing its country office in Nigeria has been providing support to government institutions and their partners, within the framework of Nigeria Country Programming Framework (CPF),” he said.
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.