Experts in the environment sector have validated a multi-year workplan of the national trialogue on pollinator-friendly land degradation neutrality (LDN) aimed at protecting endangered pollinators in the environment.
Speaking at a two-day trialogue organised by the department of forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nigeria with support from the Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Network (BES-Net) in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, the team head of the environment and climate change (ECC) unit of the UNDP Nigeria, Mr Muyiwa Odele, said the action plan would help Nigeria to be part of a global network that helps in information sharing for pollinators’ protection.
“The beauty of it is that it is a platform that brings together scientific community, policy makers, business enterprises and others, and then brings them together to solve the problem of biodiversity and maximise the knowledge through experiences for the benefit of Nigerians,” he said.
Odele said it translated to empowerment for ordinary Nigerians especially women who are the cutting edge of using natural resources for either the basis of household sustenance or business they are carrying out, adding real benefit is that those households, community, women-led enterprises that are dependent on biodiversity will become more productive and will last longer.
The team head further said the meeting was one of the areas that UNDP had strongly advocated for BES-Network in Nigeria as it sits within existing national priorities.
“Government of Nigeria is currently working on a medium to longer term development plan and food security is one of the aspirations. And the reality of Nigeria to transit from oil-based to a greener economy, a food secured future is what the president and his team are drafting. So, we have a lot of opportunities to insert our work into ongoing national priorities,” he added.
Presenting the multi-year work- plan of the Pollinator LDN Action Plan for Nigeria, the BES-Net technical officer, Marlyn Omondi, said the programme was an offshoot of the Anglophone Africa Regional Trialogue held in Nairobi, Kenya attended by Nigeria and five countries, with the objective of raising awareness of the key messages of the two inter-linked IPBES Thematic Assessment Reports on Pollinators, Pollination and Food Production and Land Degradation and Restoration.
Speaking exclusively to Science Nigeria, a plant scientist, Biodiversity Education and Resource Centre (BERC), Dr Andrew Iloh, said one of the real models of the project was the capacity building of the communities because it was bottom to top approach, pointing out that the project targeted more of communities, building their capacity on pollinators and land restoration.
“This project translates to the ordinary Nigerian in that it will help us have more food, boost the food we have in Nigeria; it will help us restore lands that were previously bad and can be used for farming.
“Restoring the environment for better agricultural production, or we can say good agricultural practices are expected to drive the restoration of degraded lands. The kind of agricultural practices before affected the lands through the use of excessive chemicals and herbicides but this time around we are looking for alternative agroecological methods that can help restore degraded lands and bring back the pollinators,” he added.