Mr Aliyu Bananda, Director, Drought and Desertification Amelioration Department, Federal Ministry of Environment says the Federal Government is committed to achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030.
Bananda said this at a workshop on Endorsement of Nigeria Voluntary Target to Achieve Land Degradation Neutrality, (LDN) organised by the ministry in Abuja on Thursday.
He said that government set up some working committee on March 9, 2017 to work out a report aimed at achieving land degradation neutrality in the country by 2030.
The director also said that the United Nations Convention Combat Desertification (UNCCD) provided guidelines and methods to produce the report.
He said that the UNCCD also provided data for effective survey at various local levels to achieve land degradation neutrality in the country.
Bananda said that the report was ready for endorsement by the Federal Government, adding that it would be presented at a convention in China, by September.
According to him, the working committee has looked into the level of land degradation in Nigeria and noted the trends as well as the causes of land degradation, based on data from 2002 and 2010.
“Now, we have proffered solutions to all issues concerning land degradation neutrality in the country and the aim now is to stop further degradation.
“The effort will help us to balance loses and gains of land through restoration and sustainable land management,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Bala Gukut, Deputy Director of the department in the ministry explained that the United Nations General Assembly adopted the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) in 2015.
Gukut said that “Goal 15’’ urges countries to protect, promote and restore sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystem sustainable manage forest, combat desertification and halt biodiversity loss.’’
He said that the UNCCD mission provided a global frame work to support the development and the implementation of national and regional policies and programmes toward its achievement.
“The UNCCD also provides measures to control and reverse desertification, land degradation and mitigate the effects of drought.
“In light of the above, countries were invited to set national voluntary target to achieve land degradation neutrality by 2030.
“Nigeria joined other countries in the UNCCD to set its own target.
“To achieve the target, the working committee which is comprised of government agencies and other stakeholders ensure that the report is endorsed by government.
“The effort is to make sure that Nigeria will not experience any set back in achieving land degradation neutrality by 2030.’’