Saturday, June 21, 2014

World Desertification Day: NW Stakeholders Discuss Challenges

By Fai Cassian Ndi
Tansi Laban Bambo
This year's world desertification day was celebrated in Bamenda midst numerous challenges and a clarion call  by the North West Regional Delegation of Environment, Protection of the Nature and Sustainable Development has highlighted the various challenges faced by the population. Speaking at the Round Table discussion, North West Regional Delegate Tansi Laban Bambo expressed worries that all the seven divisions are being affected by desertification. In his paper, the regional delegate also disclosed that this year’s theme: Ecosystem-based Adaptation highlights the benefits of mainstreaming sustainable land management policies and practices into everyone’s collective response to climate change. Harping on the negative of impact in the region, Mr. Laban revealed that close to 2 million people are being affected by the phenomenon of desertification. The effects he said ranges from water scarcity to poor crop yield. He also lamented that in areas such as Nkambe, Ndu and Kumbo, water is becoming a very scarce community. According to the delegate, the abusive cultivation of eucalyptus trees have contributed enormously to water problems in the region.
He called on the population to adapt and change their attitude towards land use and management of natural resources. According to the regional delegate, with the right interventions, “we can turn the vicious cycle of climate change and desertification into a virtuous cycle of productive land and reduction in greenhouse gas emission. He called on the population to protect wetlands and watersheds by planting water friendly trees, practice sustainable agricultural activities, stop acclamation of wetlands, avoid bushfire, Ankara burning, and stop the planting of eucalyptus trees in water catchments, maintain soil cover by planting cover crops, etc. To the regional delegate, land degradation is a serious threat to human existence. “Desertification and land degradation doesn’t have to threaten our future. Let us mitigate the effects of desertification and land degradation by saying a Big No to unsustainable practices that accelerate land degradation and causes drought.

It should be noted that the day was also commemorated with various stakeholders exhibiting their savoir-faire. The delegation also donated trees to some beneficiaries. To draw the cotton on this year’s world desertification day, over 2000 trees were planted at the Bamendakwe water catchment. The Bambui water authority also benefited from the tree planting exercise organized by the delegate of Environment, Protection of Nature and Sustainable Development.  

When News Breaks Out, We Break In. (The 2014 Bloggies Finalist)

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