It is with profound honour that I stand before you today as we gather to commemorate the World Environment Day which is a day dedicated to fostering global awareness and action for the protection of our environment. World Environment Day is celebrated annually on the 5th of June and serves as a vital reminder of our collective responsibility to safeguard our planet. This year’s theme ” Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience” emphasizes not only the importance of protecting what we have but also the need to restore and rejuvenate our agricultural landscape in order to ensure food security and sustain a heathy ecosystem for our future generation. This call to action resonates deeply with this administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda aimed at sustainable development and environmental stewardship.2. Nigeria, like many other countries around the world, is facing significant environmental challenges, our land resources are under immense pressure from a variety of factors ranging from deforestation, unsustainable land management practices and the adverse impacts of climate change. These challenges not only threaten the health and well-being of our people but also jeopardize the sustainability of our ecosystems and the prosperity of future generations. Our Semi-Arid and Sahel regions are characterized by land degradation, drought, and desertification and in turn exacerbate poverty and food insecurity within the society. These factors also contribute to joblessness, social unrest and conflict in these areas. Therefore, we must collectively take decisive actions capable of reversing these trends and build a more sustainable future before it becomes too late.3. Despite these challenges, I am pleased to report that Nigeria is making significant progress in addressing land degradation and desertification through initiatives such as the Great Green Wall Project (GGW), Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP) and Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACResal). Measures have been implemented through this programmes and projects to restore degraded landscapes, promote sustainable land management practices and enhance the resilience of communities to drought and desertification. We have strengthened partnerships with local communities, civil society organizations, and international partners to mobilize resources and expertise towards reviving our lands, ecosystem and the environment in general.4. Even though a lot has been done towards restoration of our environment, much work still needs to be done. As we commemorate the World Environment Day today, let us recommit ourselves to the goal of accelerating land restoration, enhancing drought resilience, and combating desertification. This requires concerted efforts of all stakeholders, including Government Agencies, Private Sector, Academia, and Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s). Air, water and soil pollution poses severe threats to public health and the environment. To attain enviromental sustainabilty, we must strengthen pollution control measures and promote sustainable waste management practices. Our efforts to reduce plastic waste and encourage recycling must be intensified at all levels. 5. At this juncture, I would like to urge all stakeholders to join the Ministry of Environment and other Agencies in our efforts to strengthen the enforcement of existing environmental laws and regulations with a view to preventing further degradation of our land resources. This includes promoting sustainable land use practices, enforcing land tenure rights and cracking down on illegal logging, deforestation, poaching and all other acts capable of destroying our natural environment. We must invest in the rehabilitation and restoration of degraded landscapes through afforestation, reforestation, and sustainable land management techniques that would enhance ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration and water filtration. 6. Globally, there is the need to explore technologies that will drastically reduce Green House Gas (GHG) Emissions especially in the transport sector and other domestic appliances. We must endeavour to mainstream climate change adaptation and resilience-building measures into our national development plans and policies. This includes promoting climate-smart agriculture, and providing support to vulnerable communities to adapt to changing environmental conditions. International cooperation and partnerships must be strengthened to address trans-boundary environmental challenges and share best practices. Nigeria will continue to collaborate with neighbouring countries in the Sahel region to implement the Great Green Wall project as well as harnes the expertise and resources of international organizations and donors. I cannot conclude my speech without experessing our deepest appreciation to President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR for his continued support toward a greener and healthier environment in Nigeria and beyond. 7. Finally, let us always keep in mind that our environment is what we are, it simply returns back what we offer to it. A well natured and sustained environment is directly proportional to the benefits it provides to humanity. I would like to call on each and everyone to seize the opportunity presented by the World Environment Day to redouble our efforts in accelerating land restoration, enhancing drought resilience, and combating desertification. By working together, we can build a more sustainable and resilient future for Nigeria and the world. Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Happy World Environment Day!!!!

Thank you and God bless.

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