The second edition of the Cross River State ‘wet season’ Green Carnival has been scheduled to hold on Tuesday, July 27, 2021.
The Commissioner for Culture and Tourism Development, Eric Anderson gave the hint during a chat with newsmen in Calabar, the capital of Cross River State, south-south Nigeria.
Anderson said this year’s event has the theme “Go Green”.
He disclosed that the wet season carnival was introduced in 2019 by Governor Ben Ayade as part of the Cross River State tourism offerings and to encourage citizens to imbibe the culture of tree planting.
He stated that; “Cross River is nature’s gift to Nigeria and Africa. Cross River holds over 50 percent of the last remaining tropical rainforest in Nigeria and listed as one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots.
“The State has five distinct ecotypes such as the mangrove, tropical rainforest, montane, guinea and Sahel savanna. The need to sustain this huge nature’s heritage motivated the Governor to introduce the annual green carnival in 2016,” the Commissioner noted.
According to him, as a state, which plays a pivotal role in climate change mitigation in Nigeria and Africa, Cross River decided to plant 5 million trees annually.
Anderson acknowledged, “although the target has not been achieved, a lot has been done in the area of tree planting and forest regeneration. However, the dimension of forest exploitation especially illegal timber logging is worrisome.”
Similarly, the Director Programmes of the Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mrs. Eme Affiah explained that the green carnival holding this year would be in strict observance of the Covid-19 protocols.
Mrs Affiah said; “We have made proper arrangements to ensure that all those participating would observe the Covid-19 protocols. The commission is partnering with the Ministry of Health and other relevant agencies to enforce compliance.”
She noted that the revelers would traverse the designated carnival route, which would be clearly marked so as not to hinder vehicular movement.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Afforestation and Biodiversity and conservation, Bette Obi said the seedlings to be planted during the green carnival have been sourced from local vendors.
Obi stated that the 100, 000 tree seedlings planted in 2019 were mostly sourced from outside Cross River State.
“This year we are getting our seedling from our local vendors. We went as far as Plateau, Benue, Akwa Ibom in 2019 and decided to empower local people to grow seedlings, which we have already purchased for the event,” he explained.
Obi promised that the planning committee in conjunction with the Ministry of Environment would continue to patronise local vendors to achieve the goal of planting 5 million trees.
The revelers for 2021 Calabar Green Carnival would be civil and public servants from all the state government owned ministries, department and agencies.