Dubai COP 28: The Pan Africa Agency for the Great Green Wall Must Speak With One Voice for Nature Based Solutions – Salako

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… Says Tree planting, Mangrove Restoration and Wetland Conservation Should Be Given Priority

The Pan Africa Agency for the Great Green Wall has been enjoined to attend the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which comes in Dubai between November 30 and December 12, by speaking with one voice to ensure a pre-eminent position for nature based solutions like tree planting, mangrove restoration and wetland conservation in the global drive to achieve the 1.5 target. This admonition was made by Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment, at the 9th ordinary session of Council of Ministers of the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall which was held at the State Banquet Hall in Abuja on Friday, November 24, 2023.

”We find ourselves at a critical juncture in the pursuit of a sustainable and resilient future for Africa. The Great Green Wall initiative, a monumental project aimed at combating desertification, land degradation, and climate change, stands as a beacon of hope and unity for our continent. Today’s gathering is a testament to our collective commitment to address the environmental challenges that affect the lives of millions across Africa and indeed the world.

”The facts are clear and undisputable that:
I. Africa is the least contributor to creating the challenge of climate change that is disrupting societies and threatening our existence.
II. Africa is the most vulnerable continent to the adverse impact of climate change that she played very little role in creating.
III. Africa holds the key to natured based solutions to slow down global warming and climate change
IV. Africa’s great green wall initiative is an important nature based solution to address the triple crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution”, Salako told the Council members

He said the council meeting provided them with a unique opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness and to also reflect on the progress made since the last assembly and to chart a course forward that was rooted in collaboration and shared responsibility. He added that efforts to restore landscapes, empower communities, and build climate-resilient ecosystems must be steadfast and unwavering.

”As the Honourable Minister of State for Environment, I am acutely aware of the immense responsibility we bear in safeguarding the natural heritage of our beloved continent. The Great Green Wall is not just about planting trees; it is a symbol of our dedication to fostering sustainable development, enhancing biodiversity, and securing a brighter future for generations to come. It is a testament to our commitment to the principles of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

”In the face of the many environmental challenges that confront us, commitment and collaboration becomes our greatest asset. I urge each member state and partner organization present here today to share knowledge, pool resources, and engage in constructive dialogue that transcends borders. Our success hinges on the strength of our partnerships and the collective will to overcome the hurdles that lie ahead”, Salako noted.

He wanted Ministers from member Countries to be mindful of the impact their decisions would have on the communities who depend on land for their livelihoods adding that the Council should be guided by a sense of duty to leave a legacy of sustainability and resilience for future generations.

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