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World Environment Day: ACReSAL Lead Project Coordinator Commends Taraba Govt, Appreciates World Bank

By Sani Yarima 

The National Lead Project Coordinator of Agro Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL), Dr. Hamid Umar has commended the Taraba State Government for its commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change.

He made the commendation while speaking at the Flagging off ceremony of tree planting as part of activities to commemorate the World Environment Day organized by the state Ministry of Environment in partnership with ACReSAL, held on Wednesday in Jalingo. 

He said the state deserved commendation as the level of awareness and sensitization campaigns on the challenges of climate change and the importance of tree planting in the state as he observed was high.

Umar explained that they were in the state to assess the level of commitment and understanding of the challenges of climate change by the state government and expressed satisfaction.

He stressed the need for the state government to extend the awareness campaign to every nook and cranny of the 16 LGAs of the state to make them understand the challenges of climate change and the importance of tree planting.

According to the National Project Coordinator, ACReSAL is in the state to intervene in addressing the challenges and build resilience in the people to be able to withstand the challenges and ravages of climate change.

Dr. Hamid Umar revealed that 19 states including the FCT are cashing into an available portfolio of seven hundred billion dollars (USD 700) set aside for the ACReSAL project by the World Bank through the Ministries of Environment, Water Resources, and Agriculture.

He called for a collaborative effort to achieve the set goals and appreciated the World Bank on behalf of the participating states for the investment in issues surrounding the nation’s natural resources, nature, and the livelihood of the people at the grassroots.

Earlier in an address of welcome, the State Commissioner of Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Aishat Barde called for a commitment to restoring ecosystems, protecting the planet, and ensuring a healthy, prosperous, and sustainable future for all.

“We must ensure that our children understand the importance of protecting the environment and are equipped with the knowledge and skills to become future stewards of the planet,” Barde emphasized.

She described this year’s theme, “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience”, our future, as a reminder to all of the vital role the ecosystems play in maintaining the balance of life on Earth.

On her part, the ACReSAL TaskForce Team Leader, Dr. Joy Iganda revealed that statistics indicated that over three hundred billion (300b) people are affected by land degradation globally, pointing out that there is a contribution from countries to restore over three hundred and fifty (350m) million hectares of degraded land.

She maintained that out of the 350m, Nigeria may be committed to restoring four hundred million hectares (400m) and ACReSAL is helping her to restore one billion (1b) hectares out of the four million, while in Taraba State, the ACReSAL is committed to restoring about fifty thousand (50,000) hectares of degraded land.

Dr. Joy Iganda noted that the Theme for this year also aimed to build the resilience of the local communities to be able to stand and try to combat the issue of climate change.

She expressed happiness for the commitment exhibited by stakeholders, especially the youths, students, and corps members who took part in the celebration and urged them to support the protection of the land.

Goodwill messages were delivered by the Chairman of the House Committee on Environment, the Taraba State ACReSAL Project Coordinator, Mr. Joshua Dumuti, and the State Head of the Civil Service, Mr. Paul Tino.

The tree planting was ceremoniously flagged off by the State Commissioner of Environment and Climate Change, Hon. Aishat Barde at a Garden named after her at the state Secretariat, in the presence of other distinguished guests including some Commissioners and State House of Assembly Members Hon. Veronica Alhassan, and Hajiya Batulu Hammangabdo.

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