Adeniyi Olugbemi, Sokoto

The consequences of the threat of Nigeria losing more than 350,000 square kilometers of its forest landmass each year to desert encroachment could be devastating, if not urgently addressed.

Professor Aliyu Jauro, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA, raised the alarm at the 4th University public lecture of Sokoto State University, SSU,

The public lecture held at the University multipurpose hall and, organized by the University Seminar/Public Lecture committee, was themed “Environmental Degredation: Causes, Effects and Way Forward.”

Similarly, Professor Jauro listed prevalent environmental diseases, constrain economic outputs, threat to biodiversity and ecological impacts among the effects of environmental degredation.

To reverse the trend, he however recommend practices of afforestation, crop rotation, irrigation, purchase of recycled products and conservation of water and energy.

Other preventive measures includes, framing of appropriate policies to prevent environmental degredation and protection of species from extinction, usage of renewable sources of energy and protection of water resources from the materials and chemicals released from industries and factories.

Professor Jauro, who attributed environmental degredation to natural and anthropogenic causes mentioned the Great Green Wall, GGW, initiative, which key components is the establishment of a 1,359km contagious shelterbelt from Kebbi state to Borno state, serving as a windbreaker, as part of government effort in protecting the environment.

“Through the GGW, 7.6million plants and seedlings were produced. 1, 205 people were trained on maintenance of biodiversity and 1, 396 jobs were created.

“NESREA role on environmental degredation management centered on awareness creation, compliant monitoring, prohibition of processes and use of equipment that undermine environmental quality and enforcement of all environmental laws and standards.”

In his remark, Sokoto state Commissioner for Environment, Honourable Sagir Bafarawa, represented by Alhaji Muazu Suka, said the challenges the ministry is facing is deafforestation .

He maintained that the state government is planning this year, to exceed the over two thousand trees it planted in 2021.