As part of the measures to fight deforestation in Nigeria, the Federal Government has promised to engage indigenous and international bodies as well as formulating policies to tackle environmental challenges.

Environment Minister, Muhammed Abubakar announced this in his address at the weekend at De-Distinguished Event Centre in Osogbo, the Osun State capital.

It announced the selection of Osun State as its destination for the celebration of the 2021 World Environment Day, with the theme: “Ecosystem Restoration-Resetting our Relation with Nature, based on the state’s performance in ecosystem restoration drive.”

The minister said the ministry’s plan to plant 25 million trees annually was part of measures to fight climate change.

“We cannot achieve this without the support of state governments, and Osun is already taking the lead in this regard,” Abubakar said.

He added: “The Federal Government, being conscious of the alarming rate of deforestation standing at between 3.7 – 4.0 per cent, has continued to engage locally and internationally, in addition to the formulation of enabling policies and legislation aimed to bring the situation under control.

“The Federal Government has also commenced execution of nature-based programmes and projects to address the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss because of their multiple benefits which include, among others, climate amelioration, improved ecosystem services, enhanced water security, enhanced food security, especially through agroforestry, improved soil organic carbon and water retention, improved productivity and resilience, disaster risk reduction and improved nature-based jobs and livelihoods.

“The Federal Government has made some efforts at all levels of governance to promote resilient environmental sustainability in the context of national development. These initiatives include, among others, promoting enabling policy environment; strengthening institutional capacity; building partnerships and participating in global initiation, and implementing special initiatives and actions.”

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