The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has expressed commitment to effective implementation of the Strategic Action Plan (SAP) 2021-2025 aimed at ensuring that people prosper while living in harmony with nature.
The foundation made the disclosure at its 33rd Annual General Meeting held virtually on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
Chief Philip Asiodu, President, Board of Trustees (BoT), NCF, while delivering his speech at the meeting said that the launch of SAP was a major achievement of the foundation in 2021.
Asiodu said that SAP was a call to practical action by the foundation and all Nigerians across communities.
“The new NCF SAP, which provides a clear five-year roadmap for the foundation, has four key pillars:
”Spaces – Green Recovery Nigeria; Species – Saving Species in Peril; Climate Change – Tackling the Climate Crisis; and Partnerships – Fostering Collaboration with Stakeholders,” he said.
He said that NCF was called the premier conservation organisation because there was no existing organisation dedicated to wildlife, nature conservation and environmental management in the country.
“As a foundation, we are abreast of the current happenings in the environment sector and our commitment to a Nigeria where people prosper while living in harmony with nature remains unwavering.
“This is further driven by the global attention on illicit trade in wildlife and its effects on the population of floral and fauna resources as well as the global economy.
“While implementing projects that aligned with the key pillar of Green Recovery Nigeria, NCF embarked on several reforestation projects.
“These projects ranges from creating school gardens to planting economic and fruit trees in schools and communities, to forest landscape restoration in Anambra state,” he said.
Asiodu urged members of the foundation to increase its membership to at least one million by the end of the current strategic action plan.
The Chairman, NCF National Executive Council, Chief Ede Dafinone, said that the foundation’s relationship with several agencies of government at national, sub-national levels and international partners was renewed and reinvigorated.
Dafinone attributed the success to the relentless efforts of the BoT and council members.
He also commended the establishment of the NCF action plan.
“To drive the new strategy, NCF must work with people and institutions as well as seek for more resources in a challenging environment.
“In this direction, we recognise the need for better technical and administrative efficiency in getting results and adopting an approach that is smarter, time-bound, effective and beneficial to our organisation, partners and Nigerians.
“The groundwork laid through our engagements with policy makers and key players in the environment as well as conservation sector over time have recently culminated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Federal Ministry of Environment.
“The MoU will give the foundation an important leverage on all environmental and conservation issues in Nigeria,” he said.
Dafinone added that the foundation had renewed its strategic partnership with relevant government parastatals to expand the coverage of conservation activities.
He attributed ignorance as the major reason why people people care less about nature or continue in practices that are destructive to the environment.
Also, the NCF erstwhile Director-General, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, noted that SAP would usher in innovative and impactful projects and activities that would help the nation regain its lost biodiversity and ecosystem.
Aminu-Kano said that the demand for efficient action in supporting biodiversity and livelihood contributed to the reason for SAP 2021-2025.
He said that the policy was designed to contribute to more years of excellent conservation impact in the year under review.
He further said that the new NCF SAP provided good direction and guide for the foundation and was instrumental to the many achievements recorded during COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fundraising recorded 10 per cent growth when compared with the 2020 figure, a gradual post-COVID recovery,” he said.
He added that three youth conservationists were recognised and awarded for their efforts in promoting conservation in Nigeria, while two deserving Ph.D students were awarded research grants, sponsored by Chevron Nigeria Ltd.
By Fabian Ekeruche