President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday travelled to Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire to attend a United Nations organised conference on the future of the land, regarding desertification, drought, degradation, rights, restoration, and implications for national and world economies.

The President, who will participate in a Summit of Head of States and Government between May 9 and 10, joins world leaders for the 15th session of the Conference Of the Parties (COP15) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), with the theme “, ‘Land. Life. Legacy: From scarcity to prosperity.”

The convention aims to take action to ensure that land, the lifeline on the planet, continues to benefit present and future generations, his media aide, Garba Shehu, said in a statement.

“To achieve the visionary objective of land restoration and balance, COP15 will bring together leaders from governments, the private sector, civil society, and other key stakeholders from around the world to drive progress in the future of sustainable management of one of the most precious assets, land,” the statement said.

“The convention will explore links between land and other key development issues, which will be discussed during the high-level segment, including a Heads of States Summit, high-level roundtables, and interactive dialogue sessions.

“COP 15 is a key moment in the fight against desertification, land degradation, and drought. Accordingly, it will build on the findings of the second edition of the Global Land Outlook and offer a concrete response to the interconnected challenges of land degradation, climate change, and biodiversity loss as the world steps into the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration.”

According to Shehu, drought, land restoration, and related enablers such as land rights, gender equality, and youth empowerment are among the top items on the conference agenda.

He stated that President Buhari, who is also the President of the Great Green Wall in Africa, would be accompanied on the trip by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; Minister of Environment, Mohammed Abdullahi; Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mahmoud Mohammed; and Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu.

Also, on the President’s team to Abidjan were the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; Director-General of the National Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Abubakar; and Chairman/CEO, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa.

Isah Bature