JDPC Distributes 10,000 Tree Seedlings to Combat Climate Change
By Ojugbele Omotunde
The Catholic Church’s Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) in Abuja has undertaken a significant initiative to combat the impact of climate change in the region by distributing 10,000 economic tree seedlings. The distribution, carried out in accordance with a directive from Abuja’s Archbishop Ignatius Kaigama, was motivated by Pope Francis’ environmental preservation message.
According to JDPC Chairman Sir Josephat Abaagu, Archbishop Kaigama had instructed all Catholic institutions and parishes in Abuja to plant a minimum of 10 trees as a means of environmental preservation. These tree seedlings, generously provided by Catholic Relief Service (CRS), are expected to yield multiple benefits, including food production, financial support, and environmental protection within four months.
These tree seedlings will be distributed to every Catholic organization and parish in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), ensuring widespread participation in this environmentally conscious initiative. Abaagu emphasized the holistic advantages of tree planting, citing the crucial role trees play in purifying the air by converting carbon dioxide into oxygen.
In his address, Abaagu urged the deanery coordinators to monitor the initiative’s progress and ensure compliance to maximize the benefits. He expressed gratitude to CRS for their generosity, noting that this endeavor will not only combat hunger and poverty but also contribute to safeguarding the environment.
Rev. Fr. Solomon Uko, the executive director of the commission, reinforced the importance of tree planting in preserving the environment. He announced that Holy Ghost Parish Kpeyegyi is committed to planting 50 trees, highlighting the collective responsibility to maintain the environment.
Furthermore, Timothy Ejeh, director of programs for JDPC, disclosed that the organization had previously distributed 1,000 tree seedlings contributed by CAFOD. With the addition of the 10,000 seedlings from CRS and the Archbishop’s directive for each Catholic institution to plant 10 trees, Abuja is poised to surpass its goal of planting 20,000 trees.
Ejeh earnestly appealed to parishes, chaplaincies, and pastoral areas to plant and care for these tree seedlings, which are provided free of charge. Speaking on behalf of other coordinators, Mr. George Odoh, the Gwagwalada Deanery Coordinator, pledged their commitment to ensure the successful planting and nurturing of these trees, emphasizing their determination to meet this environmental objective.
In this noble endeavor, JDPC Abuja, in collaboration with Catholic Relief Service, Archbishop Kaigama, and all participating parishes, is dedicated to not only enhancing the environment but also strengthening the bonds of community and responsibility.