By Henry Oladele
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) said it had planted about two million tree seedlings across the country as part of its afforestation programme.
The Chairman, National Executive Council (NCF), Chief Ede Dafinone, made this known at the 19th annual Chief Shafi Edu Memorial Lecture held at Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the memorial lecture, themed, ‘Youth and Ecosystem’, was aimed at sensitising youths on the need to restore the ecosystem.
“Our efforts towards restoring Nigeria’s forest cover under the Green Recovery Nigeria initiative had almost two million tree seedlings planted across the country.
“This was made possible with the support of the Federal Government, corporate organisations and international partners and funders,” he said.
The NCF chairman said that the foundation was focusing on the youth in order to drive the new message and involve them in activities that would call the attention of more people to both the challenges and possible solutions.
The foundation appealed to Nigerians to stop polluting the natural resources, adding that the country could loose one million species in few decades.
“We are plundering and polluting our natural resources, treating our planet as a dumping ground for plastic and other waste.
“It has been projected that we could lose one million species in the next few decades if we don’t act and unfortunately, there’s no planet B, where we can move to in the future,” Dafinone said.
Also speaking, the guest speaker, Miss Simangele Msweli, said that the world needed urgent restoration of the ecosystem which had been degraded for a long time.
“Youths have a role to play in the ecosystem restoration.
“Youth commitment coupled with youth engagement from government and organisations will bring us closer to a world where ecosystem are restored.
“This will provide livelihood, climate resilience and sustainable economy,” said Msweli of the World Wide Fund for Nature.
NAN reports that the Chief Edu Memorial Research Grant of N1.5 million each was given to Mrs Olubamise Ibironke and Samuel Jatto at the occasion.
The annual grant is for two Nigerian candidates willing to undertake doctorate degrees in the fields of nature conservation and sustainable livelihood.(NAN)