The Federal Governance has called for the collaboration of the private sector in the fight against desertification and desert encroachment in the country.
The Minister of Environment, Sharon Ikeazor made the call when she hosted a delegation of the Association of Flower Nurseries and Landscaping Practitioners, AFNALPA, who came to brief her on programs for their 10th anniversary which is billed to commence in March 2022.
The Minister stated that her interest in the Association was because of her love for landscaping and conservation of the ecosystem
.She explained that the issues on the environment have been relegated to the back seat of national discourse but it is however a very critical issue in the nations’ political economy as witnessed with recent challenges with farmers and herders in the country.
Sharon Ikeazor said the present administration places much priority on issues concerning the environment.
“It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari stated that Africa’s ambition of restoring over 100 million hectares of degraded landscape for productive agriculture is achievable and together we commit to the transformative process of restoring the African degraded landscape and ultimately the continent’s environment” the Minister stressed
According to the Minister, Mr President’s resolve in tackling the five cardinal pillars including the restoration of 100 million hectares of degraded land; sequestration of 250 million tonnes of carbon; creation of 10 million green jobs; resilient economic development in the various Member States; and capacity building and development.
The Minister who thanked AFNALPA for coming up with programs to support the activities of the government commended the initiatives of the tree planting campaign to fight desert encroachment and the Abuja Horticulture Village project.
She, therefore, promised that the Ministery of Environment would partner with AFNALPA to interface with the FCTA to ensure that the noble vision is actualized.
She stated that the Ministry would also provide technical support and other assistance to the association to ensure the success of the programs.
Earlier, the President of AFNALPA, Mrs Mary Omoh stated that her organization has over 1,500 members spread across the country with parks and gardens across the FCT and other states.
She commended the brilliant outing of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Government delegation at COP 26 in Glasgow where commitments were made by the President to restore Africa’s depleted Farmlands under the re-desertification project of the United Nation’s Great Green Wall Commission.
Mrs Omoh stated that the Association would support the government in achieving the target of planting 10 million trees across the Great Green Wall belt saying that with their existing parks, they are ready and able to commence cultivation of One Million trees immediately.
She added that the proposed Abuja Horticulture Village will serve as a centralized nursery for ten million trees and plants in one location but needed the support of the Ministry of Environment for the programmes to succeed.
Also speaking, a member and Principal Consultant to AFNALPA Mr. Ono K. Akpe, briefed the Minister and her key directors on the Associations’ plans stating that Hajiya Amina J. Mohammed, the United Nations’ Deputy Secretary-General and former Minister of Environment has been invited to deliver a paper on The Great Green Wall: A panacea for peace and economic development in Sub Saharan Africa”, while the Minister is also expected to deliver a keynote paper on the occasion.
Writing by Mathew Ayoola; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino