The federal government in collaboration with private sector and development partners have began strategising on financing mechanism to revitalize degraded land in the country.
This was the deliberation among stakeholders at the just concluded fifteenth session of Conference of Parties of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).
The federal ministry of environment in partnership with Fundactón Agreste and with the support of Prométhée and the “Kollektiv” consortium held the side event at CoP 15 with the theme “Scaling up degraded lands revitalization through large-scale Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) bankable investments and tracking progress on the ground from space”.
The minister of state for environment Sharon Ikeazor noted that Nigeria is among the Great Green Wall countries (GGW) working towards building a wall of trees to stop the advancement of Sahara Desert Southward adding that to achieve this the country pledged to restoring 4million hectares of landscape before 2030, and several regeneration project are ongoing both at the national and subnational level.
She stressed that to achieve objectives of the GGW, investment by the government and the private sector in large scale bankable project is critical saying that is why government is partnering with the private sector, NGOs to facilitate the restoration effort in the country.
Ikeazor said “To achieve LDM and meet Nigeria’s commitment to GGW objectives investment in large scale bankable project by government and the private sector is critical. Which is why the government is involving the private sector and NGOs to facilities the restoration efforts. The funds required ifor the restoration is huge hence we need to exploit different funding sources, government cannot do it alone.”
She however acknowledged Green Sahara Farms and other private companies for their participation in ensuring government mobilize funds for the large scale restoration activities and effort to raise awareness on available digital tools for monitoring of progress on the restoration program on ground from space .
The managing director of GSF Suleiman Dikwa during the first pannel discussion on “MEANS to achieve the GGW Acceleration” stressed the need for more awareness on the GGW in the Sahel region and the need to bring in business models that are suitable for the rural dwellers.
The second panel discussion on tools to achieve the GGW Acceleration” moderated by the GSF MD emphasized on the deployment satellite to monitor the progress made in achieving the GGW objectives.
While disclosing plans by the Kolektiv to deploy the highway Satellite between 2024-2025, which would help scare people away from degrading forest that is being resuscitated because they will know the areas are being monitored from somewhere.
The panelists also emphasized on using the satellite map and track activities on ground.
While explaining how trees can be used as Collateral to access loan by rural dwellers one of the panelist Mr Pokerson explained that satellites are produce data and the data can be turned into actionable information and the asset of a smallholder farmer can be monitored from space and the images can be turned into maps.
He further explained that “Humans being visual animals will make the maps to be easily understood and even the illiterate can easily understand the map of the satellite data and one can easily locate the trees and animals.
If all this is put on an information system, the identity of the block chain can be linked to a person and this will create a transparency and linkage with the asset on the ground and the person while making it difficult to manipulate this, will give the trust and confidence to the investors while at the same time giving the security to the person that the assets are protected”.
On how the satellite can help monitor the 4million hectares for land regeneration that is not located together in the country and with neighbouring countries, one of the panelist said We have the technology at our disposal and we can bring to the project what we want to do in the context of the GGW.
They stressed the need to have as many satellite as possible so as to get information as the technology will help manage what is on ground and to manage the destruction of the forest area.