Tinubu Urges Regional Action for Food Security and Forest Management

Must read

By Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna**

President Bola Tinubu has emphasized the urgent need for ambitious regional action to balance food security with sustainable forest management, stating that about 70 percent of deforestation in Africa is due to subsistence and commercial agriculture.

Speaking at the first international conference on Afforestation and Reforestation held from July 2-5, 2024, in Brazzaville, Congo, Tinubu highlighted that nearly 4 million hectares of African forests are being cut down each year, almost double the world’s average rate of deforestation. This information was quoted from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN).

Represented by the Minister of Environment, Mal. Balarabe Abbas, Tinubu outlined several factors contributing to forest loss in the region, including increasing population, indiscriminate land expansion for agriculture, rapid urbanization, social needs, and illegal logging.

“About 70% of deforestation in Africa is a result of subsistence and commercial agriculture. Therefore, urgent ambitious regional action is needed to strike a balance between food security and sustainable forest management,” Tinubu stated.

He acknowledged the significance of holding the conference in Congo, considering Africa’s contribution to global deforestation. The conference aimed to bring together leading experts, policymakers, researchers, and practitioners worldwide to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and foster collaborations to develop and implement innovative and scientific strategies for afforestation and reforestation. These strategies would restore degraded lands, enhance biodiversity, and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“Regional and global cooperation like this is imperative and will foster the development of appropriate regional transformative policies and legal frameworks capable of mitigating the impacts of climate change,” he added.

Tinubu also highlighted Nigeria’s progress in contributing to reversing forest cover loss through sustainable forest management and massive afforestation. He mentioned the recent approval of $8.5 million under the Presidential Initiative on Afforestation for the afforestation and restoration of degraded forests and other critical landscapes across the country. This initiative is in addition to other programs like the Great Green Wall Pan African Program and Agro-Climatic Resilience Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL), resulting in the restoration of over 1.5 million hectares of degraded forests.

“We have recently placed an interim suspension on the export of wood-based products to enable adequate appraisal of the process and ultimately emplacement of a sustainable forest management trade compliance system without jeopardizing progress in implementing the UNSPF, NDC, and other global agreements,” Tinubu stated.

Reaffirming Nigeria’s commitment to global, regional, and sub-regional consensus on promoting sustainable forest management, Tinubu expressed optimism about the conference’s catalytic effect in increasing global forest cover for collective benefits.

He congratulated President Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo for successfully hosting the historic conference and providing an opportunity to address global warming and other associated disasters. Tinubu also acknowledged the African Union and United Nations Forum on Forests for organizing the conference.

“Africa is ranked as the world’s third-largest continent with a global forest area of about 26% cover. The alarming rate at which these forests are being depleted calls for concern,” Tinubu lamented, emphasizing the need for collective efforts from governments, NGOs, private organizations, civil societies, and communities to increase global forest cover.

“I am optimistic about the catalytic effect of this conference as we strive together to increase the global forest cover for our collective benefits. Together, we shall indeed make our planet a safer place for us and future generations to come,” he concluded.

Tinubu’s address underscored the significance of forests, which cover nearly 31% of the world’s land area and are crucial for maintaining ecological balance, preserving biodiversity, and supporting the livelihoods of millions of people. However, deforestation and forest degradation continue to threaten these vital ecosystems, leading to severe consequences for the planet and future generations.


All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from DAYBREAK NIGERIA.

More articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest article