By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, said Nigeria had successfully forested over six million, one hundred and ninety-one thousand, three hundred and sixty-three (6,191, 363) hectares of land through the green bond project, while targeting to increase the nation’s forest cover to 25 per cent in line with global best practices.
The President said this at the Summit of Heads of State and Government 15th Conference of the Parties (Cop15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
Buhari noted that the 25 percent target was in fulfillment of a pledge at the 74th Session of the United Nations General assembly in September, 2019 of planting Twenty-Five Million trees towards achieving restoration of degraded forest reserves and other landscapes nationwide.
“We have also expanded protected areas by creating ten additional National Parks, including two (2) Marine Protected Areas, cutting across the various ecological zones of the country.
“The operationalization of specific intervention programmes and policies in the country has further accelerated the implementation of the ongoing Ogoni Clean-up for restoration of polluted land as well as the implementation of the Great Green Wall programme hinged on ecological restoration and rehabilitation of degraded land. The National Agency of the Great Green Wall in Nigeria has made progress in land restoration of over Three Thousand Eight Hundred and Ninety-two hectares of land,’’ he said.
Buhari noted that his administration, in partnership with the World Bank, expended enormous resources to establish Agricultural Development Programmes in all the 36 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory.
“The ADPs operate the Training and Visit system of unified extension system covering the areas of Crop Production and Protection, Livestock Production and Animal Health, Fisheries, Agro-forestry and Gender related issues in Agriculture popularly referred to as Women-In-Agriculture.
“Furthermore, my administration is equally dedicated to fulfilling the pledge to the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative that seeks to restore 100 million Hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2030 in response to the Bonn challenge.
“To date, the initiative has 128 million hectares in pledges from 32 African countries. In 2017, Nigeria committed to restore 4 million hectares of degraded forest landscapes under the AFR100 initiative. So far, over Five Hundred and Fifty-Five Thousand, Four Hundred and Eight Hectares of land restoration have been recorded, including the planting of Fifteen Million tree seedlings covering over Twelve Thousand, Five Hundred Hectares of deforested lands,’’ the President added.