According to Arlette Soudan-Nonault, the calendar’s chance wanted the World Day to Fight Desertification to be celebrated one week after the closure, in Abidjan, of COP 15 on Desertification, which focused on making Africa the most endangered region. in the world of this phenomenon. Although desertification covers almost 40% of the earth’s surface and already affects about half of humanity, Africa is the only continent where two thirds of arable land could disappear in 2025 under the influence of drought and soil degradation, according to a recent UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
In Abidjan, the Congolese environment minister continued, African delegates fought for the addition of an additional protocol to the UN Convention to Combat Desertification. This protocol would have made it possible to attract agents to prevent the consequences of major droughts. “Alas, their insistence encountered the rejection and selfishness of the great powers. Let us be clear: the fight against desertification remains a marginal issue in the eyes of the international community, as if it concerned only the future of a few poor African countries.she said.
For Minister Arlette Soudan-Nonault, Congo certainly benefits from a wet equatorial climate, which in principle protects it from water scarcity. But desertification is not only the absence of rain because it relates to the whole process of soil degradation, of which the desert is only the last stage. Wetlands, she added, are also affected by the loss of soil fertility and the impact of this destruction on agricultural production, and the availability of clean water is evident. “We must therefore be vigilant, and we are thanks to the political will and the permanent attention that President Denis Sassou N’Guesso, Congo’s leading ecologist, has given environmental challenges. Our ecosystem is largely preserved from the ravages of deforestation through dedicated management plans and certification of concessions according to the best standards in the world. “she thought. “Our regulatory arsenal allows us to monitor and, if necessary, sanction the extractive industry, whose discharges are likely to deplete the soil and pollute the waterways, thus promoting desertification. The same vigilance regarding toxic pesticides, plastic bags, mine waste and anything that could degrade our land.” added Arlette Soudan-Nonault.
The Minister of the Environment stated that Congo, which is a party to the UN Convention on Desertification, also participates at the institutional level in the Working Group on Desertification under the Forestry Commission in Central Africa. “Finally, is it necessary to clarify that the prevention of the harmful effects of drought is at the heart of the concerns of the Congo Basin Climate Commission, of which several Member States such as Chad, Kenya or South Sudan are directly affected by this? Destructive phenomenon?”she asked.
Speaking of the theme of this day, Arlette Soudan-Nonault said that coming together to overcome the drought, the theme of this international day, means knowing that there are vaccines against desertification. They are called sustainable soil management, agroforestry, soil renewal, responsible irrigation. It also means realizing that soil conservation is a major challenge in reducing world hunger, with 1.5 billion people, most of them Africans, coming to degraded countries. Finally, it means that all Congolese must regard their land as a public good and a common heritage, which it is up to them to preserve. “‘It is not the desert that is advancing, it is men who are creating new deserts,’ we sometimes hear. It is up to us to deny this prediction by ensuring that our dear and beautiful land, the nature that teeming with life that preceded us below can survive us.she finished.