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Afrique en ligne (6/24/09)
Chadian President Idriss Deby is to institute a prize for the protection of the nature in Chad, according to a statement released Wednesday in N'Djamena.

According to the statement, the prize will be awarded to communities and other groups which carry out outstanding actions for the protection of the environment.

The prize is also aimed at raising awareness among all elements of the society, including political parties, administrative, religious and traditional authorities, development associations, opinion leaders as well as the media with the aim of protecting the environment.

An environmental education programme will also be included in the curriculum of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions in an effort to encourage the youth to be part of efforts to protect the environment.

"We should unite for a better, safer and more environmentally-sound future for our country. Your planet needs you and you should unite against the climate change," Deby said in the statement.

The Chadian President called on his compatriots to plant 10 millions trees every year, translating to one tree per citizen.

He also called on countries that are parties to the Lake Chad Basin Convention (CBLC), member states of the Inter-State Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS) as well as development partners to speed-up the water draining process from the Oubangui-Chari and the Congo Rivers to Lake Chad.

A terrible drought which hit Chad in the 1970s has resulted in the shrinking of Lake Chad from 25,000 square kilometres to less than 3,000 square kilometres and an increase in desertification.
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