By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna
The Director-General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, (NCF), Foundation, Dr Joseph Onoja, has said that only four per cent of the nation’s forest is covered.
The Director General spoke in Calabar on Saturday, during a sensitisation programme on the adverse effect of unsustainable forest activities in Cross River on the theme: “The Crisis of Forest Loss and Threats to Rural Economy in Cross River.”
Onoja, who was represented by Alhaji Mohammed Boye, Coordinator of the Northern Zone in NCF, explained that it has become expedient to sensitise forest holding communities in Cross River on sustainable ways of interacting with the forest to prevent deforestation.
The Director General said that in 2024, the foundation plans to train farmers on sustainable farming, a kind of farming that will not impact the environment negatively.
He said, “The way people are harvesting resources in our forests including trees is something that we need to sit down, strategise and find a way for these activities to be done sustainably.”
While he recognised that the forest is a source of livelihood for many, he said that they must also understand that it plays a very significant role in protecting the world against climate change.
He lamented that a lot of resources had been invested by NCF and its partners in the fight to save the forests, saying that the situation had not changed much, asq NCF was still determined to educate and change the orientation of people.
The Chairman of Cross River Forestry Commission, Dr George Oben-Etchi, stated that the present administration in Cross River was highly committed to afforestation.
He explained that the last time trees were consciously planted in the state as a government policy to revive the forests was in 2003 adding that in collaboration with some Non Governmental Organisations, (NGOs), the state planned to plant five million trees annually.