The Convener, Urban Tree Revival Team (UTRT), Ms Omobola Eko, has urged the Federal Government to enlist tree planting as part of community service for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) members.
Eko, whose organisation is into tree planting, made the appeal in her message to mark the 2019 World Habitat Day, on Monday, October 7, 2019 in Lagos.
She said government should make tree planting compulsory for corps members to instil environment conservation in them and preserve the ecosystem.
“We have so many of them serving the one year mandatory programme, if each of them plant trees, our cities will regain its ecosystem and we can save the land from ecological mishaps.
“Every first Monday in the month of October has been declared by the UN as the World Habitat Day, to remind ourselves that every living creature has a basic right to adequate and conducive shelter.
“This is to also remind us on the need to preserve the environment, else we all face mass extinction,” she said.
“The earth has hosted, nurtured and provided adequate shelter to millions of life forms and man due to his cravings for urbanisation has manipulated and exploited the natural environment to the point of habitat loss.’’
Desmond Majekodunmi, the Chief Executive of LUFASI Nature Park in Lagos, said that the natural environment had been drastically abused and altered.
“This has resulted into climate change.
“We are on the verge of total breakdown of our natural world and the entire ecosystem consequently we have set in motion the loss of habitat and biodiversity as well.
“Forest trees are being cut down without replacement causing the displacement of millions of species that take refuge in them,” he said.
Majekodunmi charged the youth, especially corps members to embark on enlightenment campaign against bush burning to check deforestation as in the case of the recent Amazon fire.
He said that burning of fossil fuels had placed the cities under constant pollution.
“We are at a risk of serious environmental and health hazards through the emissions of greenhouse gases.
“We stand at a risk of becoming homeless if we fail to act promptly in the next decade.’’
By Uchenna Eletuo