COP15: Nigeria to increase forest cover to 25 per cent says Buhari; Returns to Abuja after Conference

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Abuja, May 10, 2022

President Muhammadu Buhari said Monday in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire, that Nigeria has successfully forested over 6,191,363 hectares of land through the green bond project.

A statement by the President’s media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Monday, said the president was speaking at the Summit of Heads of State and Government 15th Conference of the Parties (Cop15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.

According to the president, who has since returned to Abuja after the Conference, Nigeria is targeting to increase the nation’s forest cover to 25 per cent in line with global best practices.

The president had at a side event of the summit urged the World Bank, African Development Bank and other partners to support the One Planet Summit initiative and activate the 19 billion dollars pledge.

In his capacity as the President of the Conference of Heads of State and Governments of the member states of the PAGGW, Buhari had said: “The inter basin transfer of water from Central Africa to the lake Chad should be taken seriously.”

The meeting was President Buhari’s first assignment at the PAGGW Conference of Heads of State and Government following his election to head the institution in December last year.

Speaking on Nigeria’s efforts to increase forestation, Buhari noted that the 25 percent target was in fulfilment of a pledge at the 74th Session of the United Nations General assembly in September, 2019 of planting 25million trees toward achieving restoration of degraded forest reserves and other landscapes nationwide.

“We have also expanded protected areas by creating ten additional National Parks, including two Marine Protected Areas, cutting across the various ecological zones of the country.

“The operationalization of specific intervention programmes and policies in the country have 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.

The president 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.

NAN reports that the president’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and other government officials welcomed the president at the Presidential Wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.