An environmental advocacy group, Foundation for a Better Environment (FABE), has told communities in Lagos State to plant trees to create cleaner air and mitigate climate change.
Founder of the group, Mrs Temitope Okunnu, who made the call in Lagos on Saturday, August 8, 2020, said the group was keen on the establishment of an eco-conscious generation, committed to restoration, conservation and protection of the environment.
She said that an evaluation of the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on the environment had prompted the training of people in various communities, including teachers on tree planting and generation of cleaner air.
“As an environmental organisation we are evaluating how the COVID-19 pandemic has taken its toll on the environment and how it has impacted on climate change issues.
“Pollution of the environment has always impacted on climate change, coupled with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Researches have also proven that cleaner air can also be a positive reinforcement as well as facilitate rapid COVID-19 recovery.
“That is why we are looking at how to encourage more schools and communities to plant additional trees to get cleaner air and reduce the rate of atmospheric pollution.
“However, because schools are still on lockdown we have started looking inwards at communities where schools are located.
“In the communities, we encourage residents to plant trees and control pollution through recycling and up-cycling activities.”
Okunnu said the tree planting campaign had commenced with participants at Ikorodu, Epe and Badagry communities in Lagos State.
She said the three-dimensional training and campaign would contribute immensely in mitigating climate change and boost wealth creation for the communities.
“We train the communities on hygienic waste management practices as well as teaching them gardening skills to grow their own foods.
“Through these practices they will be able to generate their food, create wealth, engender zero hunger and generate cleaner air.
“Most importantly, we want the communities to plant more trees. In learning these skills they should be able to create wealth by selling their home-grown food, sell seedlings and reduce poverty in their communities.
“We are embarking on a three-dimensional approach in addressing climate change through tree planting, food cultivation and creation of clean air for the environment.
“The response from the communities we have reached has been encouraging and we are also training teachers, who will in turn train students when schools resume.”
The environmentalist noted that the training was free for communities but called for more collaboration to boost the campaign.
“We train the communities and school teachers free of charge and we have grants from private organisations like the ACT foundation.
“We are also collaborating with the Lagos State Ministries of Environment and Education for the campaign but also need more collaboration to encourage community participation.”
FABE recently organised “Green Challenge” 2020 virtually, to challenge youths on the issues of biodiversity in line with the World Environment Day.
By Mercy Omoike