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By NBF News
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Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has extended its Corporate Social Responsibility efforts to the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) on the reforestation project recently embarked upon by the Institute.

In a statement  made available to Vanguard, the company said that the focus of the project is to promote conservation of the secondary rain forests in the country, monitor the bio-diversity of the nation's vegetation. It will also create awareness on the need to protect the remaining secondary forests at local, regional and national levels.

The Principal Consultant for the Project, Deni Brown, said 'The reforestation project sets out to restore the secondary rainforest and to plant on approximately 300 hectares of degraded land using indigenous trees'.

According to her, the tropical rainforests support the greatest diversity of living organisms on earth. Rainforest deforestation has a devastating impact on both flora and fauna. She reported that as far back as 1995, Nigeria had lost over 56 per cent of its rainforests and deforestation continues at a rate of 3.5 per cent per annum.

Currently, only 9.6 million hectares remain unaffected by deforestation; which invariably is less than 10 per cent of the total land area in Nigeria. Going by this figure, Nigeria has the highest deforestation rate on the planet and this is considered highly dangerous according to experts. Hence, the need for a proactive measure as expounded in the reforestation project.

The Head of Corporate Communications and Brand Management of Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, Mr. Segun Bankole stated that Community development and enhancement is one of the platforms on which the organisation's Corporate Service Responsibility is hinged upon.

He said the deforestation rate is quite alarming and if positive measures are not urgently put in place, the country might be worse off for it. According to him, the company understands clearly the need to have a safe and habitable environment which informed management's decision to support the reforestation project.

The spokesperson enumerated the Federal Government's efforts at revamping the agricultural sector and opined that everyone should be part of the laudable project which is why Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc has taken upon this initiative to support this whole cause as put in place by IITA.

He further stressed that supporting this noble initiative will ensure a safe community and also secure the existence and survival of future generations. He mentioned that the organisation will continue to support community-friendly initiatives from time to time.

It will be recalled that in 2009, Sovereign Trust Insurance Plc, supported the 'Go Green Campaign' launched by the Lagos State Government by adopting and maintaining a Garden in the heart of Surulere under the Surulere Local Government Area of the State.