From Uche Uche, Damaturu.
Yobe state governor, Hon. Mai Mala Buni has appealed for support from development partners in combating challenges associated with environmental challenges facing the state with a view to restore the land, mitigate climate impact, ensure food security and engage the youth in the state environment restoration process.
He made the appeal yesterday on the occasion of the launching ceremony of 2020 tree planting campaign held at Dusuwa forest reserve, along Damaturu, Potiskum road in Damaturu local government area of the state
“I would like to appeal to the Federal Ministry of Environment, the Great Green World, African LandScale Restoration Initiative and other development partners, to collaborate and support Yobe State Government to ensure that we achieve the desired results in this respect,” the governor stated.
He similarly enjoined farmers in the state to imbibe the culture of practicing Agro-Forestry where trees are planted and flourish on the farms.
According to him, the occasion which marks the formal launching of the 2020 Tree Planting Campaign and the state Climate Change Action Plan, with the theme “Plant Tree for a better tomorrow” is indeed very significant to the socio economic future of Yobe state.
He used the occasion to reiterate the government’s commitment to safeguard the environment against man-made and natural factors that have over the years affected the vegetation cover, rainfall pattern,agricultural yield and general climatic condition.
He regretted that human activities, especially illegal tree felling had continuously depleted the hitherto rich vegetation, sound and healthy environment, threatening food security and economic growth of the people.
It is equally disheartening, he stated, that Yobe state is one of the frontline states with severe environmental challenges in Nigeria and classified by international organizations such as the European Union and the United Nation Food and Agricultural Organization among states with high rate of deforestation, adding that his administration would not allow this to continue, “we must change this ugly trend to save our environment and people” he stressed.
It is for this reason therefore, he said, it is imperative for the state to kick-start its innovative drive at raising at least 5 million assorted tree seedlings annually to reach the target of raising 20 million trees in four years in other to provide the much needed impetus for land restoration and increased vegetation cover in the State
The State Government through the Ministry ofEnvironment has so far raised three million assorted tree seedlings for this planting season and is currently reviewing the Environmental and Forestry law to make it up-to-date to address the peculiar environmental challenges facing the state.
He directed the state ministry of education, state universal basic education BOARD (SUBEB) and the state media outfits to introduce programs on environment to build environmental protection culture in the people.
He also directed the ministry of environment to plant trees along the Trans-Sahara road linking Yusufari to Kanamma to serve as wind breakers and save the road from soil erosion.
The state government, he assured, would encourage competition among the emirate councils, local government councils, tertiary institutions, secondary and primary schools on tree planting and nurturing to maturity and would reward the best performing institution while at the same time.
Government would also support communities and individuals to raise date palm farms, other economic trees and Gum Arabic to provide them with means of livelihood.