(Bloomberg) -- Nigeria, Africa’s most populous country, plans to increase forest cover to a quarter of its landmass and issue its third green bond later this year, the country’s president said at a United Nations climate conference.

The move is part of the broader African forest landscape restoration initiative that seeks to restore 100 million hectares of degraded and deforested landscapes by 2030, President Muhammadu Buhari said, according to an emailed statement. Africa’s biggest economy will issue a green bond worth $68.7 million to finance environmentally- and climate-friendly projects.

Since making a commitment in 2017 to restore 4 million hectares (9.9 million acres) of degraded forests, Nigeria has recovered 555,480 hectares of land and planted 15 million trees, Buhari said. The country’s third green bond follows two previous issues totaling $68.3 million that have helped the government forest more than six million hectares of land. 

Buhari warned that global efforts to tackle desertification and drought will be hurt by the Russian war in Ukraine if peace is not achieved. Sub-Saharan Africa is among the regions worst hit by climate change, which has led to violent conflict over resources between nomadic cattle herders and sedentary farmers in Nigeria’s north and the worst drought in forty years in the Horn of Africa.

“We therefore, call for a cease-fire and cessation of conflicts where they exist and especially the Russian–Ukraine war, Buhari said. “We call on all the parties to return to the negotiation table with a view to putting an end to this needless conflict.” 



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