Experts warn of savanna degradation – The Sun Nigeria

By Noé Ebije, Kaduna

The Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria (SLAN) has warned of the degradation of the vegetable and grain belt known as the Savannah region in the country.

Experts have noted that the destruction of savannah areas could lead to the spread of disease, short lifespan, soil degradation and food shortages in human communities.

Speaking at a 2-day workshop on “Save the Nigerian Savannah; Coping with Climate Change,” SLAN National President Mr. Bartho Ekweruo noted that human activities have heavily affected savannah areas over the years.

Mr. Ekweruo recalled that savanna regions used to improve food production, citing the peanut pyramid at that time as a product of green vegetation.

He lamented that in recent times, savannah areas have been degraded due to hostile human activities, which has led to the advance of the desert.

He pointed out that desertification has brought all kinds of diseases because human beings no longer find natural environments, adding people needed to return to green living environments.

“Over the past three or four decades, the unique belt of livestock, vegetables and cereals known as the savannah region is characterized by critical land degradation, advancing desert, desertification, bad activities pastoral and agricultural areas in the frontline area while the southern part experiences continuous deforestation, massive flooding, scarification and land degradation in abandoned mining areas, desertification, erosion and destruction of riparian and aquatic systems resulting in gross regional impoverishment , constant communal clashes and loss of biodiversity.

“The combined effects of climate and human-induced environmental degradation in the savanna region, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have exceeded the individual efforts of planners, horticulturists, foresters, agronomists, architects, technocrats, villagers, states and government agencies.

“It is on the basis of the above that the Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria proposes a collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment and the FCT to organize a workshop on the savannah landscape of Nigeria through exhibitions on landscape practices that prevent the impacts of climate change”. said Mr. Ekweruo.

Moreover, in his presentation entitled “Save the Nigerian Savannah through Climate Change Mitigation and Landscape Architecture”, the President of the Nigerian Institute of Architects, Samuel Obaje, said: “The threats posed by climate change are immense, and there There is no single strategy that will single-handedly solve the climate crisis. Instead, mitigation requires an “everyone on deck” approach as we seek to reduce GHG emissions to the extent possible. Achieving a carbon-neutral future will only happen through the cumulative effect of countless individual actions.

“Global climate change is the defining environmental issue of our time. From devastating wildfires to historic storms and rising seas, the effects are already being felt and will continue to worsen. mass extinction of species; mass migrations of humans, animals and plants; and resource wars related to dwindling food and water supplies.

“Furthermore, these impacts will disproportionately affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities. Sustained and meaningful commitments and actions to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from all sectors of our economy can help avoid the worst of these negative impacts.

“The benefits of these actions will be measured in lives saved and communities spared. In 2015, the international community came together in Paris, France, and agreed on a historic cooperative framework to limit global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial.

“In order to achieve this goal, GHG emissions will have to peak by 2020 and fall to zero by 2050. This is a huge goal, but also an achievable one. Landscape architects are helping us transition to a carbon neutral future. They plan and design dense, walkable communities that reduce emissions from transportation and sprawl. They make the built environment more energy and carbon efficient through strategies such as green roofs, water-efficient design, and the use of sustainable building materials and practices.

“They defend and expand carbon-sequestering landscapes such as forests, wetlands and grasslands, helping to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. All of these efforts also enable communities to better adapt to climate change and improve their resilience.”

Teresa H. Sadler