Worried by increasing depletion of forest resources, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has stressed the need for formulation and implementation of a strategy to recover over 50per cent of lost forests to reduce effect of climate change.
Accordingly, the foundation has also canvassed for legal framework, which could aid access to global forest recovery in the continent.
Speaking during the presentation of 2017 Annual report at its Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Lagos, the Director-General of the Foundation, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano said there was the need to explore series of strategies toward recovery and preservation of forest in the country.
Aminu-Kano stated that the stoppage of laudable initiatives in the past, which are aimed at restoring the nation’s forests by authorities, has impacted negatively on the sector.
“It compounded dessert encroachment, gully erosion and other effects of climate change. A global meeting called the United Nation Forum on Forests was held in Germany and African countries made commitments to restoring the forests and had begun work but Nigeria had done nothing to that effect. Nigeria made a specific commitment of restoring four million hectares of forests by 2030. After three years, nothing has happened in Nigeria”.
The DG said NCF was ready to use its knowledge and skills to help the country to meet its obligations in preservation of forests.
In his address, NCF Board of Trustees, Chief Philip Asiodu, noted that the foundation’s has been established in seven states to promote the agenda for trees planting.
To further strengthen its relationships with the government agencies and parastatals, embassies of foreign governments and other civil societies, he disclosed that the Lekki Conservation Centre hosted High Commissioners of Embassies; France, USA and UK, government officials and representatives of partners and sponsors as well as collaborated with corporate organisations, institutions and government agencies to tackle critical conservation matters.
“In furtherance of our mission of forest conservation, our flagship project, Green Recovery Nigeria Initiative which was launched in 2016, we made progress with a meeting of stakeholders to chart a strategy for national reforestation programme in June 2017. NCF lent its voice to the campaign to save the Cross River rainforest from potential decimation through the construction of a 275.344km Calabar-Ikom-Katsina-Ala superhighway”, he stated.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Foundation, Chief Ede Dafinone said part of NCF’s advocacy efforts was campaign on the importance attached to the illegal trade in wildlife. The Foundation’s 2017 calendar, he said was themed “Stop Wildlife Trade”, the publication and was used in highlighting the need to conserve six endangered wildlife – Nigerian-Cameroon Chimpanzee, African Forest Elephant, Cross River Gorilla, Pangolin, Sea Turtle and Vultures.
“NCF’s activities in Calabar and its environ were community based projects focused on improving livelihood of the community dwellers by training them on how to live sustainably within their environment. The projects were sponsored by UNDP Global Environment Facility, Small Grant Programmes (GEF-SGP)”.