To further support sustainable livelihood and promote national unity, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has launched an initiative that will put a large percentage of Nigerian landmass under the forest cover before the next three decades.
The initiative, Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN), which was launched in Lagos last week and is billed to commence in 2017, will also curb and reverse the effects of climate change that have impacted on the environment and human lives.
Speaking about the reforestation programme during the 2016 Annual Dinner Dance of the Foundation, NCF Director General, Mr Adeniyi Karunwi, said the initiative became necessary because forest is a renewable natural resource and its stock has become diminished because the rate of exploitation has exceeded its regenerative capacity.
“According to available statistics, Nigeria lost 36 per cent of its primary forests between 1990 and 2005, thus putting our dear country second to Honduras and among the 10 countries with the highest deforestation rate in the world. The grim reality is that by 2046, Nigeria’s forestland will be reduced to grasslands in the absence of an intervention. The implication of this on national stability will no doubt be catastrophic as forest dependent people will be stripped of their livelihood.
“With the rate of deforestation, the regulatory role of forests is lost and the result is the effects of climate change that is evident among us,” Karunwi said, listing the hazards to include “increasing temperature, rising sea levels, unpredictability of weather pattern among others; with their knock-on effects on the wellbeing of humans, especially in the developing countries, who have been shown to be more vulnerable to these effects.”
In his remark, President of the Foundation, Chief Philip Asiodu, who unveiled the GRN programme as well as the Foundation’s new logo, said the Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN) will involve engagement with the stakeholders and encouraging private and community participation in plantations and forest development.
This, according to him, “is to ensure regeneration of degraded forests through enrichment planting and effective participatory forest management.”
Asiodu said the programme was a rare opportunity for corporate organisations and individuals to partner with NCF in any capacity in the drive toward a cleaner and greener economy.
According to the Foundation, the overall goal of the GRN project is to firmly establish a forest rehabilitation scheme in 25 per cent of Nigeria’s total landmass from 2017 to 2047, while simultaneously promoting actions to curb deforestation and forest degradation.
Meanwhile, the Foundation said the introduction of colour to its new logo was to bring to life its essence and elements, with tree and grass added to a full grown Roan Antelope, each symbolising NCF’s conservation activity.