The Premium Times Centre for Investigative Journalism (PTCIJ), through its Agricultural Journalism Project and Natural Resource Program in partnership with Association of flowers Nurseries And Landscaping Practitioners Abuja (AFNALPA), will be embarking on a two-day outreach scheduled to hold from the 20th to 21st of March 2020 to commemorate the International Day of Forests.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 the International Day of Forests (IDF) in 2012. The Day celebrates and raises awareness on the importance of all types of forests.
According to the United Nations, Forests cover one-third of the Earth’s landmass, performing vital functions around the world. About 1.6 billion people, including more than 2,000 indigenous cultures depend on forests for their livelihood, medicine, fuel, food and shelter.
In a bid to mark this day, countries are encouraged to undertake local, national and international efforts to organise activities involving forests and trees, particularly tree-planting campaigns. The activities are aimed at addressing and providing a better understanding of the forest- food nexus, in relation to food security, hunger and nutrition challenges.
The maiden event will focus on the United Nations global theme – “Forests and Biodiversity: Too precious to lose.” The outreach will create awareness on afforestation, consequences of deforestation, and climate change through sensitisation and a better understanding of the subject for a sustainable livelihood.
As part of its engagement, the team will be going to selected schools in Abuja to train students by providing free resources on the subject and supporting practical hands-on experience in tree planting with the students. Additionally, PTCIJ will be providing a comprehensive framework to support the incorporation of green-clubs in schools.
During the event, secondary school students will have an interactive session with the team on the need for afforestation and its effect on climate change as well as the importance of food security. They will also benefit from free hands-on practical experience on tree planting from volunteer horticulturists.
At the end of the event, the team’s hope that students will have a renewed passion for tree planting, a better understanding of reforestation, in relation to food security, hunger and sustainable livelihoods.
Beyond the two-day event, PTCIJ is committed to pushing for the inclusion of green- clubs in schools across Nigeria to enhance the cause for reforestation and tree planting. Opening up opportunities for students who perhaps do not have academic dexterity to begin to nurture a career in re-afforestation earlier through advocacy.
To further amplify the cause, on Saturday the 21st of March, the awareness and sensitisation project will be taken to major streets, markets and relaxation centres within the Federal Capital Territory.0