Abuja – The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), an NGO, says it is planning a massive Green Forests Recovery Programme (GFRP) aimed at reviving at least 25 per cent of Nigeria’s forest cover.
The Director General of the foundation, Dr Adeniyi Karunwi, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Thursday.
Forest cover refers to an area more than one ha in extent and having tree canopy density of 10 per cent and above.
Forest cover also refers to the plants of a forest together with the products of their decay.
Karunwi said the programme which would cost billions of naira, was aimed at reviving the livelihood of citizens who depend on forests.
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“The way we are presently in Nigeria, we are at a very great disadvantage in terms of livelihood.
“The FAO recommendation is that the forest cover in any country should be at least 25 per cent but presently in Nigeria, we have less than four per cent forests cover.
“So we are in an emergency situation, a very critical situation. That is what we have realised in NCF.
“What we have done is plan a programme whereby over the next 25 years, we will be recovering at least one percent of the forest cover every year so that we can get to the minimum of 25 per cent.
“We need to work with the various stakeholders, because this thing is not something that an organisation can do.
“Governments must be involved, individuals must be involved. It entails planting of trees, it is going to be massive planting so that we can recover what we have lost.’’
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NCF is a foremost environmental non-governmental organisation which works to preserve the natural resources and biodiversity of Nigeria.
The director general assured that the programme would commence before the end of 2016.
Karunwi suggested the review of forest laws in the country to meet international standards.
He called on the Federal Government through the National Assembly to institute stiffer penalties for those who boycott forest laws.
He said the foundation would organise a consultative programme to brainstorm to map out the strategy to achieve the programme. (NAN)