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New York: Zulum advocates revival of Sambisa forest

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

Zulum was speaking on Thursday in New York at the UN’s High-Level Segment Roundtable on: “Forest-based solutions to the triple planetary crises: A focus on people, science, technology, and finance.”

The governor 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.”

He added, “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.”

Furthermore, he stated, “the loss of forest cover has resulted in soil erosion, reduced water availability, loss of biodiversity and increased vulnerability to climate change impacts.”

Governor 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, 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 activities of terrorists.

The Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawan, led the Nigerian delegation, which included the Governor of Zamfara State, Dauda Lawal, and other officials.

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