From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to restore four million hectares of degraded lands has been applauded at a COP26 side event entitled “Accelerating land restoration in Africa, the case of the Great Green Wall (GGW) initiative.”
According to a statement by Senior Special Assistant, Garba Shehu, American billionaire and founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, commended President Buhari’s leadership role in restoring degraded lands in the country, describing the commitment to restore four million hectares as exemplary.
Bezos joined President Buhari, French President Emmanuel Macron, Prince Charles and the Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani at a COP26 side event.
Heaping praises on the Nigerian President at the event co-hosted by the French President, his Mauritanian counterpart and the Prince of Wales, the Amazon founder said: ‘We are fortunate to have President Buhari of Nigeria with us today.
‘Nigeria plays a critical role in the restoration movement and has pledged to restore four million hectares of degraded lands.
‘This kind of ambition coming from Africa’s largest economy underscores just how vital this issue is.’’
The Bezos Earth Fund has a $10 billion fund to allocate money to projects fighting climate change.
Nigeria is due to assume the leadership of the Conference of Heads of State and Government of the Pan African Agency of the Great Green Wall.
President Buhari had used the occasion of his address to appeal to fellow leaders to continue to make concerted efforts at land restoration.
‘‘I am optimistic that Africa’s ambition of restoring over 100 million hectares of degraded landscape for productive agriculture is achievable,’ he said.
President Buhari also pledged Nigeria’s unalloyed commitment to expanding the achievements of the GGW programme in Africa from the enviable status attained under the leadership of President Mohamed Ould Ghazouani of Mauritania.
‘Together we commit to the transformative process of restoring the African degraded landscape and ultimately the continent’s environment,’ he said.