As part of efforts to boost vegetation cover in Niger Delta, the Federal Government has put in place strategy and conservation plan for the restoration of mangroves in Ogoni communities.
The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, stated this when declaring open an International Expert Meeting on Mangrove Restoration in the Niger Delta.
Abubakar also said they would use the knowledge and experience of experts to restore the mangroves and improve the lives of the communities affected by the devastating pollution.
“The conditions and methods for successful replanting and recovery of mangrove habitats will be discussed. This also will provide experiences from around the world and their application to Ogoniland,” he said.
The minister said: “In addition, examples of successful mangrove restoration taking place in Nigeria were provided and this will be supported.
“Mangroves are not only ecologically significant but are critical to the livelihood and food security of communities. It will bring new momentum to the restoration efforts for mangrove ecosystems in Ogoniland, paving way for healthy ecosystems and successful environmental remediation of areas affected by the pollution.”
Abubakar observed that the UNEP report found that the impact of oil on mangrove vegetation in Ogoniland had been disastrous.
“In the most impacted areas, only the roots of the mangroves remain, 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,” he added.