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Delta Leads the Way in Mangrove Conservation Project

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Delta State has partnered with a UK-based company to restore and protect its mangrove forests and ecosystems, setting an example for environmental sustainability in Nigeria.

Mangroves are vital for the health of the planet, as they store large amounts of carbon, prevent coastal erosion, and provide habitats for diverse wildlife. However, they are also under threat from deforestation, pollution, and climate change.

In Nigeria, the Niger Delta region has the largest mangrove forest in Africa, but it has suffered from decades of oil spills, gas flaring, and illegal logging. These activities have degraded the environment, harmed the livelihoods of local communities, and contributed to global warming.

To address these challenges, the Delta State Government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Serendib Capital UK, a company that specializes in mangrove restoration and seagrass conservation. The MoU, which was signed on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, at the Government House in Asaba, outlines a long-term plan to rehabilitate 250,000 hectares of degraded mangrove forests and preserve the ecosystem for conservation and environmental sustainability.

A win-win situation

The project, which is expected to start in March 2024, will not only benefit the environment but also the people of Delta State. According to the MoU, the project will create jobs, infrastructure, education, and climate resilience structures for the local communities, as well as generate revenue from carbon credits and ecotourism.

The Governor of Delta State, Rt. Hon Sheriff Oborevwori expressed his commitment to the project and thanked the foreign partners for choosing Delta State as a potential investment destination. He said:

“The memorandum of understanding we just signed is very critical to the restoration and preservation of our mangrove forests and the entire ecosystem. Not only does this initiative prioritize environmental sustainability but also ensures local demands for job creation, infrastructural development, education, and climate resilience structures.

By dedicating these critical elements to the conservation effort, we are not only safeguarding our natural heritage but also fostering social economy and enhancing our community’s resilience to cope with changes that come with climate change and deforestation on a sustainable basis.

The Managing Director of Serendib Capital UK, Mr. Rafat Rizvi, also praised the partnership and assured that the project would restore the ecosystem previously damaged by crude oil degradation. He said:

“What this means for Delta State is a long term solution, say thirty to fourty years solution to a sustainable environment. One in which there will be a significant amount of job creation, education with emphasis on youth development.

This is something that His Excellency, the Governor has expressed strong desire to see, as well as other members of the cabinet that has been working closely with us.”

A model for Nigeria and Africa

The Delta State mangrove conservation project is the first of its kind in Nigeria and Africa, and it could serve as a model for other states and countries to follow. By restoring and protecting the mangrove forests and ecosystems, Delta State is not only contributing to the global fight against climate change, but also improving the quality of life of its people and the future of its generations.

The project is also in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. One of the SDGs is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

As the world faces unprecedented environmental challenges, such as rising sea levels, extreme weather events, biodiversity loss, and pollution, the Delta State mangrove conservation project shows that there is hope and opportunity for positive change.

Source: Vanguard

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