Desertification: NNPC Foundation plants 500 trees, targets 1million

The NNPC Foundation Ltd./Gte has planted 500 trees across the country through environmental clubs in public secondary schools, to tackle desertification and environmental degradation.

The Foundation also said that based on criticality and needs assessment, it had also commenced engagements with the Katsina State Government to plant one million trees in the state.

‘We will be embarking on the first phase of the one million tree planting in July this year,’ said Mrs Emmanuella Arukwe, Managing Director, NNPC Foundation Ltd.

Arukwe made this known on Wednesday at a Ceremonial Tree Planting at the Government Day Secondary School, Wuse 2, Abuja, to mark the 2024 World Environment Day (WED).

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the World Environment Day is celebrated globally every June 5, and the 2024 edition has its theme as ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience’.

NAN also reports that the NNPC Foundation Ltd. is the social arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (
NNPC Ltd.) and one of the key areas of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) intervention programmes is in the environment.

Its school tree planting campaign to mark the World Environment Day involved over 500 school children in selected parts of the country, who are provided with tree seedlings for planting, which was carried out simultaneously.

Arukwe, while speaking, said one of the menaces of the environment and ecosystem was desertification, hence planting trees and restoration of degraded land were necessary.

‘Today is World Environment Day, we are so excited about doing this, which is being done simultaneously across other states including Enugu, Bauchi, Lagos and Edo; we are in the forefront of advocating for this to be done.

‘The young people still have a long future ahead, and because of that it is important they get enlightened and educated on the importance of planting trees.

‘We are here in this school to plant trees; apart from its beautification and economic impact, it also reduces car
bon dioxide and balances the ecosystem.

‘We and the environment are symbiotic; whatever we do, affects us ultimately. We need to desist from cutting down trees and usage of biomass for cooking.

‘We want to ensure that we are not only encouraging the children to plant, but to set up a mechanism for monitoring the planted trees for maximum impact and sustainability in the long run,’ she said.

Arukwe further said that the Foundation would organise a prize giving event for the schools and students, for the best cared or nurtured tree in 2025.

She listed addressing land erosion, desertification and drought, climate regulation, oxygen production, wildlife preservation, air purification, noise reduction, social and economic benefits as some of the benefits of tree planting.

In a presentation, Mrs Lolade Oduwole, Manager, Fund Raising, NNPC Foundation, sensitised the pupils on global warming, adding that the increase in temperature worldwide had become alarming as human activities had affected the ecosystem.

uwole called for generation restoration by planting trees to restore desert, prevent global warming, maintain healthy environment, provide shed and climate regulation as well as promote oxygen production, essential for human lives.

In her remarks, the Principal of the school, Hajiya Jammaylah Yakubu, while emphasising the need to take care of the environment, promised to sustain the campaign by nurturing the trees.

Yakubu also commended the NNPC Foundation for setting up a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Mini Science Library in various schools across the country, including the Government Day Secondary School.

The pupils, who were also allowed to plant trees by themselves, were full of excitement for participating in the environmental preservation.

They vowed to intensify the campaign against environmental degradation.

The Foundation also planted trees in some schools in Gwagwalada and Kuje Area Councils of the FCT and other states.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria