• Olukunle Ogundele

T.R.E.E. Initiative Signs MoU with FRIN

T.R.E.E. Initiative Signs Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) to Promote and Carry Out Collaborative Activities on Afforestation, Agroforestry and Re-vegetation

After a year of consistent engagement, The Rural Environmental Empowerment Initiative (T.R.E.E. Initiative), a not for profit, non-government, non-political advocacy organization with interest in tree planting officially signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN).


For T.R.E.E. Initiative as an organization advocating for the planting of trees to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change occasioned by massive deforestation in the South and desertification in the North, the signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is another milestone in our climate action advocacy journey. This is one practical demonstration of the 17th Goal of the SDGs which is “Partnership for the Goals.”


As we approach the 2030 date, it is important that we all come together to save our planet for future generations. For countries in the Tropics, it is collaborations like this between sincere Community Based Initiatives and State Actors that can help solve the climate change debacle and facilitate the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. This collaboration consummated between T.R.E.E. Initiative and FRIN is not just about SDG 15 (Life on Land); it has a nexus with 12 of the entire 17 SDGs.


Tree Planting and the sustenance of our forests are directly connected to SDG 1 (No Poverty); SDG 2 (Zero Hunger); SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being); SDG 4 (Quality Education); SDG 5 (Gender Equality); SDG 6 (Clean Water and Sanitation); SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy); SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities); SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities); SDG 13 (Climate Action); SDG 14 (Life Below Water); SDG 15 (Life on Land) and of course SDG 17 (Partnership for the Goals).

In the course of our advocacy, we have discovered, that majority of our people, including the elite class do not know the benefits of trees and forests. Apart from the elementary fact that the oxygen we breathe as humans is produced largely by trees, many are not even aware that the food we eat is a product of the forest.


Deforestation today is at the front burner of any climate change conversation or gathering. Just recently, the World Bank at COP24 in Katowice, Poland made a commitment to protect an additional 120 million hectares of forests.

This is just one of her several interventions to mitigate Climate Change. The question is what are Nigerian Banks and by extension, the Organized Private Sector doing to support foremost institutions like FRIN and dedicated civil society initiatives working hard to restore our depleted forests?

One of our goals at T.R.E.E. Initiative is to plant and nurture about 10 million trees by 2025 via a mix of afforestation programs, farmer-owned agroforestry projects and re-vegetation initiatives to address the combined global challenges of deforestation, hunger and rural poverty.

The recently launched One Student One Tree Project at Ladoke Akintola University of Technology is one avenue of achieving this medium term goal. We intend to carry the One Student One Tree Project advocacy to all tertiary institutions located in rural environments across Nigeria over the next few years.


We are also coming up with a robust Shea Tree Restoration Advocacy Program, an agroforestry propagation project in cooperation with Farmers, especially smallholder women farmers across the country and development partners such as FRIN. It is an initiative to save the Shea Butter Tree which supports the livelihood of about 500,000 women in Nigeria from extinction.


In all, this collaboration with FRIN will boost our advocacy in our core thematic areas such as Tree Planting, Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood. It will also enable the Nigerian public, particularly communities facing the immediate and direct impact of these challenges to know that the Nigerian Federal Government through agencies like FRIN is making remarkable progress in the fight against deforestation and desertification.

T.R.E.E. Initiative appreciates the Management and Staff of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, the foremost forest research institution in Africa for considering this collaboration as important and strategic.

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