Benue State has been selected among the 19 Northern States to benefit from the $700 million World bank assisted project for Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Land scapes (ACReSAL) to address the challenges of land degradation and climate change on a multi-dimensional scale.
The project coordinator, Victor Ama, who disclosed this during the inauguration of local government Management Committees (LGPMC) in Makurdi for effective implementation explained that the mission of the project is to address environmental challenges arising from Climate Change and poor land-use practices in Northern Nigeria.
According to him, “the vision is to also have strong practices and policies on ecological restoration and a climate change resilient community while the Project development objective is to increase the implementation of sustainable landscape management practices in targeted watersheds in northern Nigeria and strengthen Nigeria’s long-term enabling environment for integrated climate-resilient landscape management.”
The coordinator who also represented the Commissioner of Water Resources Enviroment and Climate Change, Ugwu Odoh said, ACReSAL Project will help restore 1 million hectares of degraded land in the northern part of the country, which will also contribute to the Federal Government of Nigeria’s objective/commitment of restoring four million hectares of degraded land set for broader landscape restoration by 2030.
This Project will also help reduce the vulnerability of millions of the extremely poor people in northern Nigeria, strengthening their own role in line with achieving environmental sustainability.”
According to him, “the beneficiary of ACReSAL intervention includes, vulnerable and marginalized groups, which includes women, youth, the elderly, persons with disabilities, internally displaced persons, ethnic and religious minorities, farmers and host communities across the 19 participating states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
He maintained that, “this project will help ensure the full participation in community level structures established or supported under the project. Government institutions at federal and state levels and other partners from governmental and nongovernmental agencies will also be beneficiaries of the institutional modernization and policy support investments.”
Some members of the inaugurated local government Management Committees who spoke include; Juliana Agaku and Simon Okopi who both commended the World Bank, Federal and State Governments for the choice of Benue which has been ravaged by climate change and pledge their commitment and support for the project to succeed.