20th March, 2021
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and Keystone Bank are collaborating to plant 100 fruit trees to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forest.
Mr Oladapo Soneye, the NCF’s Head of Communications, made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja, ahead of the 2021 International Day of Forest.
The statement noted that the partnership would reverse the trend of deforestation in Nigeria and achieve the goals of preserving and restoring the environment for the benefit of the people.
It said that the exercise would equally support NCF’s Green Recovery Initiative, a 30-year programme aimed at increasing Nigeria’s forest cover to at least 25 per cent over the next 30 years.
“We depend on forests for our survival as trees provide the air we breathe.
“Forests also offer ecosystem services, enhance global food security and mitigate the effect of climate change,” Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF, was quoted as saying in the statement.
“As as a bank, we cannot overemphasise on the need to foster a sustainable environment to ensure business and life continuity through tree planting, carbon footprint reduction, recycling, amongst other sustainable practices.
“We will continue to collaborate and initiate exercise like this that aligns with our sustainable living culture as a bank,” Mr Olaniran Olayinka, Managing Director of Keystone was also quoted as saying.
The initiative according to the statement was coming at a time when Nigeria was said to have lost over 90 per cent of its forest cover to degradation, unsustainable development and over-exploitation of the forest.
It also noted that the occasion would witness employees of the bank planting seedlings of jack fruit, tenera oil palm, cashew and mango donated by NCF, in their homes.
The International Day of Forests is usually celebrated on March 21 annually and panellists from international organisations and civil society highlight threats due to global deforestation issues and lack of effective regulation.