From Tunde Omolehin, Sokoto
Academia and environmental experts gathered in Sokoto, the state Capital to brainstorm on reversing the trend of degradation, deforestation and desertification challenges as a result of climate change in Nigeria.
The event which was held at the Sokoto State University, Sokoto, was part of her 4th Public Lecture titled: ‘Environmental Degradation: Causes, Effects and Way Forward.’
The Guest Speaker and Director General, National Environmental Standard and Enforcement Regulation Agency (NESREA), Professor Aliyu Jauro decried environmental degradation as a very serious phenomenon that has devastating effects on human, animals and the environment ecosystem.
“It is a burning issue that poses threat and challenges especially in the north. We must collectively rise to the challenge as it is fast affecting humanity and environment”, he stressed.
He revealed that the country ranks one with the most highest deforestation annual record of 0.6km. This, according to him could lead to loosing 351.000km2 land and 15% prone to desertification.
He said it can only be reversed by strengthening the space for effective collaboration by the three tiers of government and relevant institutions .
“NESREA is looking into a more responvise collaboration with institutions especially with organs as Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) just as we have commenced with NUC to drive the course towards engaging universities”, he disclosed.
He noted that, reversing the trend of degradation, deforestation and desertification challenges require strong, quality control mechanism to strengthen the drive as
Noted that Nigeria’s rate of deforestation was fast increasing with an average of 50% which translates into 2.6% desertification.
“We all have to deepen our responsibilities by engaging relevant stakeholders.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion and former Vice Chancellor, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto, Professor Aminu S. Mika’ ilu stressed the need for better synergy among stakeholders to curtail the ecology impacts.
He however noted that degradation and desertification phenomena have tendencies of affecting human and animals survival.
Other speakers identified both natural and anthropogenic factors such as draughts, vulcanic eruptions, deforestation mining and population as responsible for environmental degradation in the state.
They whoever called on states across the federation to approach issue of climate change with strong policy and commitment.
In his remarks, the University Vice Chancellor, Professor M.S. Dangoggo thanked the participants for driving the lecture to a success. He noted that the lecture topic was carefully chosen to approach ith commitmen issues rounding climate change in the country.