The Director-General, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, on Monday, November 25, 2019 urged youths to use social media platforms and other means to support environmental protection.
Aminu-Kano made the appeal in Lagos at the opening of a five-day Climate Action Youth Forum organised by NCF to sensitise the youth to climate change effects mitigation.
According to him, youths have the zeal and strength to carry out campaigns more than the elderly.
He added that youths’ inclination to social media would help in spreading relevant messages faster, including those on environmental protection.
Aminu-Kano said that if positive actions were not taken in the next 10 years, the environment could get to a point of no-return in crises, noting that youths would feel the full impact of climate change as they still had much life ahead.
“The crises are stormy winds, unpredictable water conditions, erosion of coastal lines, scanty rainfalls that will make crops impossible to produce, as well as drought.
“Excessive carbon in the atmosphere is harmful to life. About 50 per cent of it can be removed by trees and at the same time purify the air with oxygen for human consumption,” he said.
Technical Director of NCF, Dr Joseph Onoja, said that youths should be planting trees on remarkable days of their lives such as birthday, wedding day and other anniversaries.
Onoja said that if youths who formed about 60 per cent of Nigeria’s population could plant trees on the days, within two years’ 25 million trees could be planted.
He decried indiscriminate felling of trees in the country for domestic and commercial purposes, saying that any tree felled reduced the natural process of removing carbon from the air.
Managing Director, Shodex Garden, Mr Olusola Adekoya, encouraged the youth to approach garden owners and others to assist them in getting improved seedlings for planting.
According to him, some trees are good for avenues and streets.
Adekoya urged the youth to cultivate the habit of tree-planting to save the environment from degradation, adding that the importance of tree-planing could not be over-emphasised.
An environmentalist, Mr Wency Gatarbawa, said that migratory birds were going into extinction as a result of human activities as well as climate change.
Gatarbawa appealed to the youth to be bird-friendly, urging them to discourage others – through social media platforms – from using of birds for cultural activities.
He said that birds played significant roles in plant pollination and seed dispersion from a region to the other which facilitated even distribution of trees.
Chief Executive Officer of the Urban Tree Revival Team, Mrs Omobola Eko, advocated nature-based approach to tackling climate change, and advised the youth to make use of the internet to find ways of mitigating climate change.
A seven-year-old environmental protection campaigner, Miss Cassandra Adeshina, appealed to the youth to stop bush burning, tree felling and improper waste disposal to save the environment.
By Aisha Cole and Uche Eletuo