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Lagos State Commissioner Calls for Action on World Environment Day

…Emphasizes Land Restoration and Drought Resilience in Keynote

Mr. Tokunbo Wahab, the Honourable Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, delivered a powerful keynote address at the World Environment Day (WED) celebration held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa. The event, themed “Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience,” drew esteemed guests and dedicated environmental advocates.

In his speech, Mr. Wahab highlighted the critical issues of land degradation, desertification, and drought, which threaten food security, water availability, biodiversity, and the livelihoods of millions worldwide. “Today’s theme is a call to action,” he said, stressing the urgent need to address these environmental crises. Mr. Wahab praised the staff of the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources for their relentless efforts in promoting sustainable practices. He also thanked the event’s partners for their unwavering support in the quest for a greener and more sustainable world.

“Land degradation, driven by unsustainable agricultural practices, deforestation, and climate change, affects about 1.9 billion hectares of land globally,” Mr. Wahab noted. He added that desertification impacts over 168 countries, making it one of the most significant environmental challenges of our time. Additionally, he pointed out the increasing frequency and severity of droughts, which exacerbate the impacts of climate change and threaten the resilience of ecosystems and communities. Mr. Wahab acknowledged the particular challenges faced by Nigeria, especially in the northern regions, where land degradation and desertification are affecting agricultural productivity, water resources, and livelihoods. “In Lagos State, we are not immune to these challenges,” he said, emphasizing the need for proactive measures to address land degradation and enhance drought resilience.

To tackle these issues, the Commissioner outlined several key strategies: sustainable land management through promoting sustainable agricultural practices, reforestation, and afforestation projects to restore degraded lands and prevent further desertification; community engagement and education by empowering communities with knowledge and resources through extensive outreach programs; strengthening environmental policies and legislation to prevent land degradation and promote sustainable land use; and fostering partnerships with international organizations, research institutions, civil society, and the private sector.

He urged everyone to take responsibility and act with urgency. “Let us commit to sustainable practices in our daily lives, support restoration initiatives, and advocate for policies that protect our environment,” he said. In conclusion, the honourable Commissioner expressed confidence in overcoming these challenges through collective determination. “Our united efforts today will shape the sustainable and prosperous future we envision for tomorrow,” he stated, calling for passion and dedication to this year’s World Environment Day theme.

The event showcased Lagos State’s commitment to a resilient and thriving ecosystem, highlighting the crucial role of land restoration and drought resilience in ensuring a sustainable future for all.

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