The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) will plant 5.5 million trees over the next five years to mitigate the effects of climate change in the country. The project, presented on 14 March 2023 in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, could help more than 40 million Nigerians, whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change.
« Green Revolution Campaign » is the title of the reforestation project launched on 14 March 2023 in Abuja by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Nigeria (CBCN). Funded by Caritas Nigeria, a specialised agency of the Catholic Church in Nigeria that coordinates development and humanitarian interventions, the project aims to plant 5.5 million trees over the next five years. To achieve this, the more than 50 dioceses in Nigeria will each plant at least 20,000 trees every year.
Father Uchechukwu Obodoechina, the Executive Director of Caritas Nigeria said, « The reforestation project will mitigate crises between farmers and herdsmen and other climate change related problems affecting people and animals. On the latter aspect, the Director General of the National Agency for the Great Green Wall (NAGGW) estimated the number of Nigerians on the frontline of the climate crisis. « This project could help over 40 million people whose livelihoods are threatened by climate change, » says Yusuf Maina-Bukar, before calling on other religious institutions in Nigeria to copy the example of the CBCN.
Climate conflicts cause thousands of deaths
As in many African countries, climate change is manifesting itself in the form of excessive rainfall, rising sea levels, floods, severe droughts, and desertification affecting twelve northern Nigerian states. All these phenomena trigger conflicts caused by the sharp reduction in agricultural land and grazing land.
In a report published on 12 November 2020, the United Nations Group for Sustainable Development (UNGSD) states that climate conflicts have reached a critical level of violence in Nigeria, causing the death of thousands of people and the displacement of several thousand others forced to leave their homes destroyed by attacks. According to the same source, these conflicts have claimed more lives than the insurgency by the terrorist sect Boko Haram.