World Environment Day: FG hands over one million tree seedlings to Kaduna govt

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 2020 World Environment Day (WED), the Federal Government said it will on Friday, June 5, 2020, hand over hand over one million seedlings to the Kaduna State Government for planting.

Environment Minister, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, who gave this hint during a press briefing, warned that over one million plant and animal species risk extinction, largely due to human activities; this is a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of nature.

The minister, according to release by the ministry, stated that the one million seedlings being handed over to Kaduna State is in fulfilment of the commitment made by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the 74th UN General Assembly in New York, to plant 25million trees to mitigate the effects of Climate Change in Nigeria.

“As part of on-going efforts to meet Mr President’s directives on the planting of 25 million trees and as a symbolic gesture to commemorate the 2020 World Environment Day in the country, I will be in Kaduna on Friday, where I will hand over one million seedlings to the Kaduna State Government.

“It is our ardent prayer and hope that the seedlings would be properly utilized to mitigate the effect of biodiversity, climate change and improve on our natural habitats.”

“In addition, the Federal Government had also set up a National Forestry Trust Fund under the forestry department of the Ministry. In the same vein, the Ministry in partnership with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) with the support of World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), are working together on coalition on nature, referred to as Nature Means Business which will target the private sector and Sub-nationals to act on agreed environmental principles that will guide their business operation to reduce the impact of business on biodiversity loss.

“It is worthy to note that our development support partner, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation program (REDD+) is currently running in six states in Nigeria covering all the forest zones. This is a program that conserves already existing forest and enhances carbon stock” he said.

The Minister also reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to the Global Biodiversity Framework under the Convention on Biological Diversity, stressing that Nigeria is leading the ECOWAS Member-States on Post 2020 Biodiversity Framework.

Mahmood Abubakar regretted that the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic has impacted the traditional activities such as tree-planting and public workshops which were undertaken to celebrate the day in the past and has necessitated new approaches in advocacy and communication.

He described as apt the theme of the 2020 World Environment Day is indeed very appropriate, considering the fact that Researchers and Scientist have established COVID-19 to be zoonotic.

According to him, the UNEP, 2020 is a year for urgency, ambition and action to address the crisis facing nature.

“It is also an opportunity to more fully incorporate nature-based solutions into global climate action, especially as commemorating the day has become a powerful platform to accelerate, amplify and engage people, communities and governments around the world to take action on critical environmental challenges facing the planet.”

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