From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
The Society of Landscape Architects of Nigeria (SLAN) has warned against degradation of vegetable and grains belt known as Savannah region in the country.
The experts noted that destruction of savannah zones could cause spread of diseases, short life span, soil degradation and food shortages in human communities.
Speaking at a 2-day workshop on the theme, “Save The Nigerian Savannah; Addressing Climate Change”, the National President of SLAN, Mr. Bartho Ekweruo noted that human activities have greatly affected Savannah zones over the years.
Mr. Ekweruo recalled that Savannah regions used to enhance food production, citing groundnut pyramid in those days as a product of green vegetation.
He lamented that in recent times Savannah areas have degraded due to unfriendly human activities, which has brought desert encroachment.
He pointed out that desertification has brought all kind of diseases because human beings no longer find natural environments, adding the people needed to go back to green living environments.
“In the last three or four decades, the unique livestock, vegetable and grains belt known as the savannah region is characterised by critical soil degradation, desert encroachment, desertification, poor pastoral and arable farm activities in the front line area while the southern part experiences continuous deforestation, massive flooding, land scarification and degradation in abandoned mine areas, desertification, erosion and destruction of riparian and aquatic systems hence gross regional impoverishment, constant community clashes and loss of biodiversity.
“The combined effects of climate and human induced environmental degradation in the savannah region including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) overwhelmed 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 collaboration with federal ministry of environment, and FCT to organise, ‘Save Nigeria Savannah landscape workshop through exhibitions in landscape practices that forestall climate change impacts”. Mr. Ekweruo said.
Also, in his paper presentation titled, “Save the Nigerian Savannah through Climate Change Mitigation and Landscape Architecture, the Chairman, Nigeria Institute of Architects, Samuel Obaje said, “The threats posed by climate change are immense, and there is no single strategy that will solve the climate crisis on its own. Instead, mitigation requires an “all hands on deck” approach as we seek to reduce GHG emissions wherever possible. Achieving a carbon neutral future will only come about through the cumulative effect of countless individual actions. Every one of those individual actions counts.
“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 get worse.According to NASA, sea levels could rise anywhere from 8 inches to 6.5 feet by 2100. Additional impacts include increased spread of diseases; extensive species extinction; mass human, animal, and plant migrations; and resource wars over dwindling food and water supplies.
“Furthermore, these impacts will disproportionately affect the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities.Sustained, meaningful commitments and actions to substantially reduce green house 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 gathered in Paris, France, and agreed to a landmark cooperative framework for limiting global temperature rise to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
“In order to meet this goal, GHG emissions will need to peak by 2020 and fall to zero by 2050. This is an immense goal, but also achievable. Landscape architects are helping to shift us 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 with strategies like green roofs, water-efficient design, and use of sustainable materials and construction practices.
“They defend and expand carbon-sequestering landscapes such as forests, wetlands, and grasslands, helping to draw down atmospheric carbon dioxide. All of these efforts also enable communities to better adapt to climate change and improve their resilience”.
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