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CRSG Partners ARADIN, Stanbic Bank To Plant 60,000 Trees

Cross River state government has partnered with  Africa Research Association Development in Nigeria (ARADIN), a nongovernmental organization and a financial institution, Stanbic IBTC Bank with the view to regenerate the depleting forest in the state.

The partnership was crystalized, on Saturday, with the flag-off of 60, 000 high-yielding economic tree planting at Buanchor, Boki local government area, in celebration of the World Rainforest Day, annually marked every June 22, across the globe.

Speaking at the event, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cross River State Forestry Commission, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) George Oben'Etchi, lauded Governor Bassey Otu for his unwavering commitment to sustainable forest management, noting that the tree planting initiative was consistent with the present administration's policy thrust on Forest regeneration.

Oben'Etchi posited that the earlier lifting of the moratorium by Governor Otu was to enable a sustainable forest management regime, where for each tree harvested, two are replanted. "The state government is committed to planting two million trees. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is also partnering with the State Forestry Commission for the planting of 20,000 trees in Akamkpa, and a nursery is being developed at the Botanical Garden and airport bypass.

"Many other NGOs are working with us on afforestation. Presently, we are working with another NGO to regenerate 57,000 hectares of Cross River mangroves cutting across seven local government areas in the southern part of the state.

While expressing belief in the governor's vision for the forest sector, the Forestry Commission chairman called on organizations in the state and beyond to support Cross River's afforestation and reforestation efforts and appealed to communities to protect the nurseries and trees planted in forests around their dwelling places.

The Forestry CEO revealed that Stanbic IBTC Bank would sponsor the nurseries, while ARADIN and other partners would concern themselves with raising and caring for the nurseries.

Rt Hon. Dr George Oben-Etchi was accompanied at the tree planting event by other stakeholders in the sector, notably, Mr Isaac Obo, and Mr Frank Edu, a Commissioner and Director in the Commission, respectively, while Mrs Mary Undebe  ARADIN's Project Administrator, Mr. Charles Etim of Stanbic IBTC, as well as representatives of Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), ONE TREE PLANTED, traditional and community leaders, were also in attendance.

The World Rainforest Day, with the 2024 edition themed 'Empowering the World in Defense of Our Rainforests,' aims to protect, preserve, and conserve the rainforest for future generations.

The initiative was created to draw global attention to the importance of rainforests, which are home to more than half of the world's plant and animal species and produce a significant portion of the oxygen we breathe.

Ebi Collins, The Beagle News