ACReSAL Project: FG Aims to Reduce Poverty Through Ecosystem Management

By Milcah Tanimu

The Federal Government is committed to reducing poverty via the Agro-Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL) project by managing ecosystems through a catchment plan. Malam Balarabe Lawal, the Minister of Environment, made this announcement in Abuja during the contract signing ceremony for the delivery of 20 strategic catchment management plans for the ACReSAL project.

Lawal emphasized the importance of catchments as essential ecosystems that support livelihoods, provide high-quality water, and sustain biodiversity. He stated, “This catchment plan will help reduce poverty, promote sustainable agriculture, protect the environment, and support livelihoods for generations to come.”

Under Lawal’s leadership, the Ministry of Environment has committed to improving environmental sustainability interventions and initiatives. He highlighted that the Strategic Catchment Management Plan (SCMP) is a crucial part of the ACReSAL project, aimed at ensuring the sustainable management and utilization of water resources.

Lawal described the agreement signing ceremony for the SCMP as a significant step towards the responsible management of Nigeria’s natural resources. “The SCMP is designed to address these issues through efficient, effective, and sustainable management practices to ensure that land, water, and related resources are developed and managed in a coordinated manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems,” he said.

Lawal noted that the SCMP is a testament to President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s commitment to the restoration of nature and the protection of ecosystems. By implementing the SCMP, the ministries of Environment, Agriculture, and Water Resources aim to ensure sustainable agro-climatic and land management, ultimately improving the living standards of communities in northern Nigeria.

Chuka Offodile, a consultant and Managing Director of Mecon Geology and Engineering Services Ltd., explained that the strategic catchment management plan study for northern Nigeria begins with the scientific delineation of the region into 20 mega-catchments. He added, “The scientific assemblage and analysis of data in that framework serve as a planning tool with its component natural and environmental resources in an integrated manner in line with the various interacting characteristics of each notable element.”

Offodile mentioned that the study would lead to recommendations for knowledge-based infrastructure and investment implementation, guided by community-based sustainable and climate-resilient solutions to environmental challenges in northern Nigeria.

Mr. Abdulhamid Umar, the National Coordinator for the ACReSAL project, highlighted that the catchment plan would enhance the livelihoods of communities. “The plan’s implementation will help us balance human needs with environmental protection, ensuring a resilient and thriving catchment area for future generations,” Umar said.


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