June 26, 2013 (JUBA)- South Sudan will do its best to ensure solutions to issues of desertification, land degradation, drought yield and to provide positive results for local communities, pledged environment minister on Tuesday.
"The Ministry of Environment and Agriculture together with Water and Forestry has been working particularly hard to help our communities and farmers to cope with the challenges posed by climatic variability and the harsh environment of this country", said the minister of environment, Alfred Lado Gore in a speech delivered a the celebration of the World Day to Combat Desertification event on Tuesday.
"We are convinced that this must be the way forward for us to protect ourselves from the scourge of desertification, land degradation and drought," he added.
Gore said the National Action Programme, which aims to implement the provisions of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), is currently under development and will build on the successes and challenges experienced through the Country Pilot Partner (CPP) Programme.
The minister enumerated some achievements from the programme, citing the establishment of new and innovative approaches to agriculture such as conservation farming, as well as community-driven approaches to sustainable land management and community-based rangeland management practices.
He pointed out that communities have also been supported to develop enterprises from the sustainable management of natural resources. More than 6 million south Sudan pounds is required to be invested in such projects through the CPP Programme.
In spite of all these areas of progress, the minister raised the concern that Government is very much aware of the challenges the country faces. South Sudan experiences drought in 2012, resulting into the huge livestock losses and human suffering.
"I reassure you that the Ministry of Environment and partner ministries in close and full co-operation with our partners and communities are committed to finding lasting solutions to this complex challenge. The long-term sustainable management of our lands will be the key to process and we look forward to implementing new solutions that will emanate from collective efforts", he said.
The conservancy is dominated by cattle farming in a semi-arid area, which is relatively big considering that there are around 13 million heads of cattle. As a result, the area suffers from severe overgrazing and is therefore a perfect study site for land degradation and desertification questions.