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Boko Haram insurgency destroyed Sambisa forest, Zulum laments

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Borno State Governor, Babagana Zulum, has advocated the revival of the Sambisa forest which was devastated by the over one decade-old Boko Haram insurgency.

Since the peak of the insurgency, Sambisa Forest, lying in the southeastern part of Borno State, has been the major enclave of the terrorists.

Zulum stated this recently during a Nigerian delegation visit to the United Nations High-Level Segment Roundtable led by the Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawan, and the Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, in New York.

He said, “Borno State has been significantly impacted by the crisis of insecurity caused by Boko Haram insurgency which has led to widespread displacement of communities, destruction of infrastructure, and loss of livelihoods.

“The conflict has also exacerbated environmental degradation, including deforestation and loss of biodiversity in our major forest, Sambisa Forest, further exacerbating the vulnerabilities of our region.”

Lamenting further, the governor added, “The loss of forest cover has resulted in soil erosion, reduced water availability, loss of biodiversity and increased vulnerability to climate change impacts.”

Zulum noted that the shrinking of Lake Chad, which was a vital source of water and livelihood for millions of people in the region, has been a direct consequence of climate change resulting from the incessant destruction of forests such as Sambisa.

According to the governor, deforestation in Borno State has been driven by a combination of factors, including population growth, agricultural expansion, unsustainable land use practices, the need for energy and the impact of the conflict.

Zulum listed initiatives, including rehabilitation and restoration, community engagements, monitoring and evaluation and collaboration and partnership as measures to save the forest devastated by the activities of terrorists.

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