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Nigeria Loses 86,700 Hectares of Forest in Nine Years – FG

 
Dr. Iziaq Salako, the Minister of State for the Environment, announced that Nigeria lost 86,700 hectares of tropical forest between 2010 and 2019. This disclosure came in a statement to The PUNCH on World Environment Day, celebrated annually on June 5.
 
He highlighted the ongoing issues of land degradation, drought, and desertification in Nigeria, citing Global Forest Watch statistics on deforestation. He warned that without prompt action, 25% of the remaining forests could disappear by 2060, leading to widespread land degradation. Salako emphasized the urgency of addressing this issue.
 
Dr Iziaq Salako.
 
Salako also pointed out that Nigeria's AFOLU sector is the largest emitter of greenhouse gases, contributing 30%, compared to the oil and gas sector's 29%. To combat this, Nigeria is focusing on nature-based solutions (NbS) to tackle global warming, increase climate resilience, reduce poverty, and promote sustainable development, aligning with President Bola Tinubu's Renewed Hope Agenda.
 
He asserted that transforming both the energy and AFOLU sectors through renewable energy is crucial for Nigeria to achieve its net-zero emissions goal by 2060, fostering economic growth and sustainability. The government is committed to advancing NbS, including ecosystem restoration and sustainable land management.
 
Salako highlighted initiatives such as the REDD+ programme, the Great Green Wall Initiative, the ACReSAL project, natural capital accounting, and mangrove restoration in Ogoniland. He called for significant climate financing from wealthy nations to support these efforts globally, framing it as an investment rather than charity.
 
He concluded that Nigeria will present its case at COP29 in Azerbaijan and will ensure that NbS remains central in its revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2025, addressing climate change, livelihood needs, food insecurity, and attracting climate finance.
 
Source: PunchNG

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