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NCF joins nature enthusiasts today to observe the 2019 International Day of Forests themed “Forests and Education”. This is in line with the proclamation by the United Nations at its 2012 General Assembly where every 21st March was set aside to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of the different types of forests; and the need to protect and conserve forests for the benefit of present and future generations. First observed in 2013, the International Day of Forests has become a useful platform to showcase the contributions of forests to global development efforts as well as the preservation of the world’s global cultural heritage and diverse biological resources. The Day offers a unique opportunity to reflect on the state of forests and challenges confronting the world’s forests in order to rally actions on how to tackle the threats and advocate for sustainable management of the global forest resources. Forests are estimated to cover 31% of the world’s land surface. According to a recent Global Forest Resources Assessment, more than 80% of the natural forests with its associated resources had been destroyed at an estimated rate of 20,000 hectares per day. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in its 2018…
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Friday called for the speedy passage of the Climate Change Act to keep Nigeria safe from the predicted doom of effects of climate change. NCF’s Director-General, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, made the call while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos in line with strike by students in over 92 countries. NAN reports that the students are skipping school today, March 15, as part of the “School Strike 4 Climate’’ to demand action on climate change from policy makers. Aminu-Kano commended various efforts of the Federal Government towards addressing the issue in Nigeria but added that the interventions were not good enough without an enabling law to drive the agenda more positively. “The climate change bill is not yet a law and also the sense of urgency and emergency that the issue requires is not really palpable in the country.
The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, with the collaboration of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, are exerting more energy in the effort to train trainers, who are coordinators of various Schools Conservation Clubs (SCCs) in the South west. Through its Forest Centre, FC, the IITA, organised a workshop in Ibadan where it gathered 23 SCC Coordinators from primary and secondary schools in Ekiti, Osun, and Oyo states for further learning process. In partnership with the NCF, the FC has set up 43 SCCs in the South west with funding from the US Consulate General Lagos and AG Leventis Foundation. The event aimed to instill in coordinators environmental conservation activities, which they will pass on to students, who are future leaders and nature ambassadors.
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation has called for stiffer penalties on deforestation and illegal trade in wildlife. In commemoration of the World Wildlife Day and ahead of the International Day of Forest, the Head, Environmental Education Unit of the NCF, Mrs Abidemi Balogun, said a lot more could still be done in the fight against illegal wildlife trade as well as forest preservations. A recent report by experts had said over 90 per cent of the country’s forest had been destroyed by human activities while illegal wildlife trade had been on the increase. According to Balogun, many people are not aware some of these animals are either threatened or endangered, and there is need for more awareness and proper sensitisation of the general public as well as the enforcement agencies. She said there should also be stringent rules and punishment for anyone caught in the act. Balogun, in an interview with The PUNCH, said some of the major issues affecting wildlife and forest in the country included poaching, over exploitation, bush burning which destroyed wildlife habitat, weak forest policy and implementation, and illegal cutting of trees.
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