A Global Land Scape Africa Frist Digital Conference on Restoring African Dry Lands
By Samuel Chijioke Okorie, Accredited GLFAfrica Journalist
The issue of land degradation as detrimental effect to food supply in Nigeria and Africa at large which cannot be over looked as it is also peculiar to other countries across the globe.
Land degradation happen as a result of intense and excessive use of land without regularization or application of rotational method of land us especially for agriculture or pastoral use. Some of the factors that influences land degradation include Unstainable, wood extraction, and population,
chemical pollution from companies, oil spillage, government policies and cultural practice.
There is need to solve land problems in Africa especially in Nigeria in order to solve the problem of food supply. The effects of land degradation in Nigeria include unemployment, pockets of conflict for resources (herdsmen crises), food insecurity, desertification, drought, flood and erosion (Nigeria LDN TSP Country Report 2018).
At the Global Land Scape Forum 2 days digital conference on Restoring African Dry-lands,
facilitators pointed out the need for the restoration of dry lands in Africa which makes about 40% of the world dry-land, containing 1/3 of the world population and as well generates about 50% of the world food production. To restore our dry land, Community need to engage on the development process of restoring dry-lands by bringing everybody together especially farmers who are affected and those that are not. According to Wanjira Mathai, during her session on
GLF: Framing the UN Decade: An African perspective on ecosystem restoration, she said:
African Dry-lands are under attack, giving rise to the degeneration of the ecosystem which has a
negative effect in our economy.
To restore our dry land, young people and the whole community need to have access to information and strong public incentives, and access to more finance.
Agnes Kalibata added that; support should be made available to local farmers because farmers use land intensively as a result of lack of access to land, land policy and type of land scape to be adopted which often times is new to them.
Farmers should be introduced to better farm varieties to facilitate dry land restoration as dry land store and sink more carbon. According to Robert Nasi at the GLF Africa Conference, “Most diversity is in the soil and most soil has lost its nutrient due to land degradation and lack of proper sustainable farming system and to tackle this, farmers and communities need to be trained and educated. Behavioral change of people on their interaction and activities with their environment and nature and increasing food print on food production” -Joao Campari.
During the session on The Roots of Restoration: Sustainability through community-based forest landscape restoration, Charles Karangwa stated the need to include community indigenes who are custodians of the land to be involved in the planning and implementation process of dry land restoration and providing them with financial and technical support they need for the implementation process, as ignoring them may impede the restoration process of the dry land, since they have full knowledge in the restoration process of degraded lands in their community because “ Restoration of dry land is life”.
In the views of Tony Rinaudo, empowering communities is one of the basic necessary tool needed to enhance dry land restoration and empowerment is an antidote community’s negative involvement towards the dry land.
According to him, it is important to get sociological and anthropological insight about
a community before thinking of sourcing for any solution and it must be sourced with the
community people not without them. Restoration of dry land is community driven in that community and “with the right production method, Africa could easily feed the world, we need to re-green our mindscape –Tony Rinaudo.