Nigeria needs 350 million trees annually to check deforestation

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) says that Nigeria needs to plant over 350 million trees annually to check deforestation.

The Director-General, NCF, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, said this at the 20th memorial lecture in honour of Chief Lawal Edu, Nigeria’s foremost environmental advocate, on Wednesday in Lagos.

Aminu-Kano said that Nigeria was losing 350,000 to 400,000 hectares of forest every year with a lot of consequences for climate change and rising temperature levels.

“We have to plant many hectares in order to stand still. And we can just aim to stand still at five per cent of our forests the way we are.

”But even if we are to stand still, 350,000 hectares of forest land will require 350 million trees per year for us to remain where we are.

”So, you can see that we need to plant more than 350 million trees if we want to begin to increase our forest cover at all,” he said.

Aminu-Kano also said that the NCF was passionate about its major flagship project called “Green Recovery Nigeria,” which entailed actual reforestation.

He noted that the project was targeted at restoring the forests Nigeria had lost since independence.

According to him, the nation has lost its forest cover from about 35 per cent to less than five per cent.

“So, we have to run in order to keep stay. And that means we have to plant the right trees in the right places and the right quantities.

“If we are to have forests that will continue to provide services that trees and forests provide us like clean air, clean water, food, medicine, fiber and livestock feed.

”And all sorts of things that will continue to regulate and replenish our soils as well as our freshwater sources, then we must act now,” he said.

On the theme of the lecture, “Only One Earth,”Aminu-Kano said that Nigeria’s population was growing rapidly with over 200 million people competing for scarce resources.

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