Desertification posing a threat

Published Date: June 11, 2009
By Chidi Emmanuel, Staff writer

KUWAIT: Desertification has been identified as one of the major environmental problems that pose a global threat. This was highlighted at the International Training Workshop on Legislative Efforts in Funding Desertification Project held yesterday at the Movenpick Hotel under the patronage of the Nigerian Ambassador to Kuwait, Bala Ahmed Gusau. In his keynote speech, Dr Raafat Misak, Research scientist, Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research(KISR) said that the world is suffering from desert encroachment which has been advancing at an alarming rate. The three-day workshop is aimed at comparing and contrasting the desertification phenomena in Nigeria with that of Kuwait and the other regions of the world. Dr Misak reviewed the desertification control approaches in Kuwait and other international mechanisms. He outlined the consequences of drought in Kuwait which include; cracking, active sand seas and massive wind erosion among others.

Some of the experts spoke about the worrying processes of land degradation which they said is of a major concern. Dr M Al-Sarawi, said that the increased pressure on the land, combined with the growing threat from climate change are contributing toward land deterioration. "Unless we promote sustainable solutions through effective technologies integrated with proven strategies, the dry lands will continue to tear away," Dr Al- Sarawi added. He emphasized on the need to combat desertification. Dr Al-Sarawi said that the three-day workshop will review the current problems and explore practical approaches, thus providing a useful forum for the development of a national consensus on the future strategies related to management and control of desertification.

In his speech, Dr Amin Al-Amin of the Nigerian Defense Academy detailed some the desertification problems in Nigeria and the legislative imperatives. He said that the forum is aimed at developing a strong network of experts who are engaged in research and development on arid land issues. He called for active participation of the stake holders in a bid to tackle these environmental challenges. He urged all to strive for continuous improvement in environmental performance through identifying objectives and setting targets. The workshop is an important initiative by Wataniya Environmental Services (WES) to promote the integration of sustainable land management in the legislative framework through concrete research projects. It was organized in collaboration with the Nigerian embassy and the Development Partners Limited. The program attracted environmental experts and hosts of dignitaries including Nigeria state legislators from the desert bordering states.

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