To help realise the global objective of a better and safer ecosystem, the Dangote Group has initiated a tree planting campaign through an Employee Volunteering initiative. This move is in line with the culture of sustainability embedded in the organisation’s operations.
The campaign, aimed at creating awareness and preserving the environment, which aligns with the United Nations 2021 World Environment Day theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’, kicked off on Monday, June 7 in some public and low-income private schools around Ikoyi, Lekki/Ajah and Victoria Island, Lagos.
At the designated school premises, Dangote Volunteer employees drawn from the Head Office in Falomo, Ikoyi, in collaboration with officials of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), planted trees to ensure a healthier environment for current and future generations.
The environmental initiative, led by a team drawn from the Sustainability, Environment and HSSE Departments of the Dangote Group, is in line with the organisation’s focus in giving back to the society, especially the host communities and the less-privileged.
Dangote Volunteers visited include Ilasan Community Secondary School, Ilasan (Lekki); Gbara Community Senior Secondary School, Gbara, Jakande (Lekki), and Ikota Primary School, Ikota (Lekki); Aunty Ayo School, Ikoyi; Falomo Senior High School, Falomo; and Government Senior Secondary School, Maroko, Victoria Island; where they also planted trees to help boost the restoration of the environment.
Among the Dangote Volunteers were the GM/Head of Sustainability Dangote Cement, Mrs. Eunice Sampson SGM/ Head, Community Affairs and Environment, Dangote Cement, Engr. Tukur Lawal and Yetunde Ogunnowo of Branding and Communications Department; while Abidemi Balogun, Lead Environmental Education, Nigerian Conservation Foundation represented the Foundation.
Speaking on the World Environment Day and tree-planting exercise, Mrs. Eunice Sampson said, “The theme of this year, ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ is very apt and timely. This is because, whether we realise it or not, as individuals or as institutions, we depend 100% on our ecosystems for survival. The only way our ecosystems can continue to sustain us is if we make deliberate efforts to also sustain it. A degraded ecosystem cannot possibly provide us with the resources that we need to thrive; neither can it support the needs of future generations.”
“The environment is borrowed from the future generations; we should endeavour to use it well. Posterity might never forgive us if we don’t,” Abidemi Balogun added in her own remarks.
Her comments were in tandem with Engr. Tukur’s remarks, who said, “This year we have embarked on strategic activities to commemorate the 2021 World Environment Day. Our partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation will further ensure the sustainability of these ecosystem restoration initiatives.”
Every year, the World Environment Day is commemorated on June 5, and the Dangote Group through its initiative has joined the international community to mark the special Day. This is a UN initiative designed to create worldwide awareness on, and action to protect the planet from negative impacts, and ensure a healthier environment for all.
Tree planting is one of the ways to restore the ecosystem, and according to the United Nations, over 4.7 million hectares of forests are lost every year. In this year’s collaboration with the NCF (Lekki Conservation Centre), the objective is to plant 200 trees in 10 schools, and create awareness on environmental responsibility and stewardship among the school children, while observing COVID-19 social distancing protocols.
The tree planting campaign is expected to continue on Thursday, June 10 at the schools around Ajah/Badore axis, after the World Environment Day ceremony at the Lekki Conservation Centre of the NCF.
This year’s World Environment Day kicked off the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration (2021-2030), a global mission to revive billions of hectares, from forests to farmlands, from the top of mountains to the depth of the sea.