By Modupe Gbadeyanka To commemorate the 2021 International Day of Forests (IDF) with the theme Forest and Biodiversity, Keystone Bank Limited has partnered with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to plant 100 fruit trees. According to the Managing Director\/CEO of Keystone Bank, Mr Olaniran Olayinka, this initiative aligns with the financial institution\u2019s \u201csustainable living culture,\u201d assuring that the company will \u201ccontinue to collaborate and initiate exercises like this.\u201d He, therefore, \u201ccalled on individuals, corporate organisations and civil society actors to reflect on the state of Nigeria\u2019s forests and the implication of losing such valuable heritage.\u201d In his opinion, \u201cEveryone should consider what can be done individually and collectively to protect, restore and sustainably manage the country\u2019s remaining forests for present and future generations.\u201d \u201cAs a bank, we cannot overemphasize the need to foster a sustainable environment to ensure business and life continuity through tree planting, carbon footprint reduction, recycling amongst other sustainable practices,\u201d he submitted. Business Post gathered that the planting of the over 100 fruit trees was witnessed by employees of the Keystone Bank. The members of staff of the financial institution were involved in planting the seedlings of jack fruit, tenera oil palm, cashew and mango donated by NCF in their homes. The lender further noted that the exercise aligned in achieving the goals of preserving and restoring the environment for the benefit of the people. \u201cIt equally supports NCF\u2019s Green Recovery initiative, a 30-year programme aimed at increasing Nigeria\u2019s forest cover to at least 25% over the next 30 years. The initiative is coming at a time when Nigeria is recording one of the highest rates of forest loss globally,\u201d the bank said. Commenting on the initiative, the Director-General of the NCF, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, while thanking Keystone Bank for the gesture, said Nigeria had lost over 90 per cent of its forest cover to degradation, unsustainable development, and over-exploitation of the forest. \u201cThus, such collaborative effort on a larger scale could be crucial towards reversing the trend of deforestation in Nigeria. \u201cWe depend on forests for our survival as trees provide the air we breathe. Forests also offer ecosystem services, enhance global food security and mitigate the effect of climate change,\u201d Dr Aminu-Kano noted. Keystone Bank is a technology and service-driven commercial bank offering convenient and reliable solutions to its customers. How IDF started The IDF was established on March 21, 2012, by resolution of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests, and trees outside forests, for the benefit of current and future generations.