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The Federal Ministry of Environment has begun deliberations on the restoration of Mangroves in the Niger Delta region.
International experts in the sector, at the instance of the ministry, converged in Abuja to exchange lessons on restoring mangroves in Ogoniland and to also deliberate on ways to improve the livelihoods of communities in the region.
A statement by the Director of Press, Ministry of Environment, Saghir el Mohammed said the experts shared global experiences and how it can be applied in Ogoniland.
The statement said the Minister of Environment, Mohammad Abubakar who declared the session open charged the experts to also develop more strategies to conserve the mangrove.
‘Mangroves are not just ecologically significant but are critical to the livelihood and food security of communities in Ogoniland’ he said.
‘Today’s meeting is a turning point for the mangrove ecosystem in Ogoniland. Using the knowledge and experience of the experts, we will be able to restore the mangroves and improve the lives of the Ogoni communities who are affected every day by the devastating pollution’.
‘Hopefully, the meeting will bring new momentum to the restoration efforts for mangrove ecosystems, paving the way for healthy ecosystems and successful environmental remediation of areas affected by the pollution,’.
Initiated by the Ministry of Environment, the meeting championed the creation of conditions and methods for successful replantation and recovery of mangrove habitats.
‘In addition, examples of successful mangrove restoration already taking place in Nigeria was provided, he said”.
The meeting supported by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), had in attendance experts from more than 20 different institutions.’
Recall that in 2011, the United Nations Environment Programme found extensive damage to the mangroves in Ogoniland when it undertook its environmental assessment ahead of Ogoni remediation.
The report had found that the impact of oil on mangrove vegetation in Ogoniland devastated the vegetation and mangrove ecosystem in the area.
The impacts of the pollution ranged from extreme stress to destruction. In the most impacted areas, only the roots of the mangroves remained, with no stems or leaves.
In many of these areas, the roots were completely coated in oil, sometimes with a 1 cm or more thick layer of bituminous substance.
Experts revealed that such pollution had accumulated over a very long period.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS. NEW YORK