AFRICA/NIGERIA - Over 5 million trees to be planted in 5 years: the project to combat desertification promoted by the Nigerian Bishops

Tuesday, 14 March 2023 environment   bishops   caritas  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) is to plant 5.5 million trees over the next five years to mitigate the effects of climate change in the country. Consequently, the conference launched a tree planting campaign tagged: ‘Green Revolution Campaign’, which is being championed by Caritas Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch of the project in Abuja, CBCN President, Msgr. Lucius Ugorji, Metropolitan Archbishop of Owerriha, said that over 50 dioceses of the church have been directed to plant 20,000 trees.
Archbishop Ugorji explained that the project is geared towards saving the environment from imminent destruction due to the menace of climate change which manifests in form of excessive rainfall, rising sea levels, floods, severe droughts, desert encroachment in 12 Northern states, loss of biodiversity and conflicts due to scramble for shrinking agricultural and grazing lands.
Executive Director, Caritas Nigeria, Fr. Uchechukwu Obodoechina, said that the intervention would reduce farmer-herder crises and other climate change problems facing humans and animals.
Archbishop Ugorji also noted that improper waste management is a major cause of environmental degradation, adding that tonnes of plastic materials choke, communities, and block drainages, which, among other things, are a danger to the fish fauna.
Director-General of, National Agency for Great Green Wall (NAGGW), Dr. Yusuf Maina-Bukar, commended the bishop conference for the initiative, saying it would help to address threats to the livelihoods of over 40 million people, whose livelihoods are endangered by climate change and urged "other religious institutions across the country to emulate the action, to ensure a conducive environment and proper inculcation of sustainable environmental management in Nigeria".
NAGGW, which belongs to the ministry of environment, was established in 2015 by an act of the Abuja parliament, and is linked to the Great Green Wall initiative in Africa, conceived in 2007 by the African Union to tackle land degradation, increase food security and support communities to adapt to climate change in sub-Saharan Africa. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 14/3/2023)