Deforestation: Nigeria loses 600,000 hectares of forest annually

Deforestation: Nigeria loses 600,000 hectares of forest annually

Thursday, July 4, 2019 11:17 am

Nigeria loses between 450,000 and 600,000 hectares of forest to deforestation annually to rank among the highest countries with deforestation rate in the world.

National Coordinator, Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Dr. Salisu Muhammed Dahiru, disclosed this on Tuesday in Benin, while delivering the 10th Environmental Outreach Magazine public lecture.

The lecture was tittled: “Managing land degradation in Nigeria; the challenges, action and remediation.”

According to Dahiru, 24 billion tons fertile soil is lost every year globally, while 7.3 million of hectares of forest is lost yearly globally.

“Nigeria is said to be one of the country with the highest deforestation rate in the world with about 450,000 to 600,000 hectares of forest lost annually,” he said.

He identified population pressure, deforestation, bush burning, overgrazing, agricultural depletion of soil nutrients through poor farming, inappropriate irrigation and indiscriminate mining as some the causes of land degradation in Nigeria.

While saying that NEWMAP has succesded in reclaim some of the land lost to dedration, noted that inconsistency in policies, inadequate budgetary and unhealty rivalvary between environmental agency are affecting management of  degredation and deforestation in the country.

Dahiru said policy execution as well as stakholders cooperation are needed in managing land degradation.

One of the awardees, Franklank Briyai, who is INEC’s Resident Electoral Commissioner for Cross River State, charged every Nigerian to shun activities that could result in deforestation and protect the environment.

“I have ensured that our state office is kept well. I ensured that degradation of environment especially by planting grasses to ensure that places there getting eroded were stopped,” he said.

Earlier, the Vice Chancellor, Igbinedion University and President Nigeria Environmental Society, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, lamented that  the institute of environmental practitioners management bill sponsored by the Nigerian environmental society has still  not received assent.

Ezemonye who was the chairman of the event noted that Mo the bill will ensure that the Nigerian environment is protected in line with global practices and give rooms for competent hands and expert to manage the Nigerian environment.

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