Lawmaker Calls for accelerated action on land restoration, drought resilience

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Bong County Electoral District 5 Representative, Eugine J.M Kollie, serving as Keynote Speaker at the World Environment Day celebration in Gbarpolu County, has issued a powerful call to action for the protection and restoration of our precious land for future generations. In his speech, Representative Kollie emphasized that land is a vital resource not only for the present but also for the future. He highlighted its critical role in sustainable development, food security, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity conservation. “Land is the cornerstone of our future. It holds the key to sustainable development, food security, climate change mitigation, and biodiversity conservation,” Rep. Kollie stated. World Environment Day, celebrated globally since its inception in 1972, this year focuses on the theme “Accelerating Land Restoration: Drought Resilience and Desertification Progress.” This theme, according to the lawmaker, underscores the urgent responsibility to protect and restore our land for the benefit of future generations. “Today, we gather here with a shared vision – one that recognizes the urgency of addressing land degradation issues worldwide. We cannot turn a blind eye to the alarming rate at which our lands are being degraded by human activities such as deforestation, unsustainable agriculture practices, urbanization pressures, and climate change impacts,” Rep. Kollie remarked. Amidst the challenges, Rep. Kollie sees an opportunity to take decisive action towards restoring degraded lands and building resilient ecosystems capable of withstanding droughts and combating desertification. He called on individuals, communities, organizations, and governments to play a crucial role in this endeavor. “As your keynote speaker for World Environment Day 2024 Celebration with the slogan ‘Our Land Our Future,’ I implore each one of you to join hands with me in taking concrete steps towards accelerating restoration efforts,” he urged. Rep. Kollie, who is also the House of Representatives Chair on Mines, Energy, Natural Resources, and Environment, advocated for increased awareness about the importance of preserving healthy ecosystems. He emphasized the need for education campaigns highlighting sustainable land management practices and urged for policies that support responsible land use planning while incorporating nature-based solutions into development strategies. He encouraged community involvement in initiatives aimed at rehabilitating degraded lands and empowering local communities with the knowledge and resources necessary for sustainable agriculture and reforestation efforts. Furthermore, he called for international collaboration to share best practices and create a network of knowledge exchange on successful approaches to achieving drought resilience and combating desertification. “By actively engaging in these actions collectively as individuals, organizations, or countries, we can make significant strides towards ensuring that ‘Our Land’ remains fertile ground for prosperity rather than becoming barren wastelands devoid of life,” Rep. Kollie emphasized. He concluded his speech with a renewed pledge: “Not only today but every day going forward, we must cherish our planet’s irreplaceable gifts, safeguard the soil from degradation, restore what has been lost, and above all else, secure ‘Our Future’.”

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