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NCF, Lagos, others urge support for biodiversity conservation

By Victor Gbonegun
04 April 2022   |   2:04 am
As forests face significant impacts from human actions and extreme temperatures as well as other deleterious effects of climate change, stakeholders have urged Nigerians to limit the root causes of warming planet.

Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF)

As forests face significant impacts from human actions and extreme temperatures as well as other deleterious effects of climate change, stakeholders have urged Nigerians to limit the root causes of warming planet.

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos State government and the Canada High Commission advised the people to prepare for, recover from and adapt to these impacts through climate resilience.

NCF coordinator, Green Recovery Nigeria, Folake Salawu, led the charge at the 2022 International Day of Forests (IDF), organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture in collaboration with the NCF and other partners.

The International Day of Forests was set aside to raise awareness on the importance and contributions of forests to the earth’s life cycle and alert the people about climate changes impacts.

To mark the day, the NCF donated over 2,000 indigenous trees to Lagos government and T-shirts to participants, while students/teacher, who participated in essay competition were presented with plaques, certificates and cash awards.

Salawu said the collaboration is in line with NCF’s flagship programme, green recovery Nigeria project, which seeks to increase the forest cover in Nigeria from seven to 25 per cent by 2047 through planting of eight million trees across the country.

She tasked stakeholders to ramp up efforts towards restoration of natural reserves with development of additional 10 new forest reserves in Nigeria, increase conservation of trees and biodiversity, sustainable use of resources as well as livelihood.

The state’s commissioner of Agriculture, Ms Abisola Olusanya, advised residents to guard against indiscriminate destruction of forests, as they are crucial to mitigating climate change and contribute to current as well as future generations’ stability and well-being.

According to her, the state government was deploying huge resources to maintain a balanced ecosystem. She encouraged stakeholders to mobilise members of the society and constituencies to plant tress.

The commissioner said to catch them young in environmental preservation, 18 entries were received from 13 schools across the six education districts, out of which six emerged winners, assuring that the ministry will establish a mini-forest in the schools with selected trees.

MEANWHILE, NCF in partnership with the Canadian High Commission’s fund for local initiatives has embarked on activities to tackle climate change in the communities of River Kampe National Park in Kwara State.

The move is aimed at building resilience for the vulnerable communities to the impact of climate change through nature-based solutions, empowering women on alternative energy source through the production of Biochar/Briquette from agriculture waste, developing nature-based recovery action plan for River Kampe National Park towards restoring its over 65,000 hectares of forest landscape through a community-led approach.

River Kampe Forest Reserve is located at Pategi, Kwara State. Despite the Federal Government’s intervention to upgrade reserve, to a national park, there remains unsustainable practice within the three support zone communities.

Consequently, NCF has trained 50 women and youths from the communities on Biochar production from rice waste. The training covered production, packaging, use and marketing of briquette and contributes to energy security by developing alternative and sustainable energy source for the communities and dissuading the people from cutting down trees for firewood.

IN a related development, NCF is championing the cause of wildlife preservation in Africa with the commemoration of World Wildlife Day (WWD), which has the theme: “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration,”

This year’s World Wildlife Day was celebrated to draw attention to the conservation status of some of the critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora and drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them, which is in line with Sustainable Development Goal (15).

Some of the activities to mark the day target primary and secondary school pupils and tourists, deliberation session on how individuals can be involved in the conservation of species and others.

The activities attracted over 500 participants including students drawn from eight schools and tourists. The Senior conservation manager of the NCF, Dr. Stella Egbe said: “WWD is a wakeup call on the need to bring wildlife conservation challenge to the fore. It is always an opportunity to measure our impacts and renew measures to protect and preserve our wildlife. The public must be more aware of the role wildlife plays in balancing nature.”

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