The Commissioner for the Environment, Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Durosimi-Etti, on Saturday, July 14, 2018 called on the public to be actively involved in the planting of trees in order to preserve lives.
Durosimi-Etti said this at the commemoration of the 11th annual Tree Planting Day held at Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, Ijanikin Lagos.
The theme for 2018 is “Save Planet Earth, Save Lives, Plant Trees”.
“Tree Planting Day”, which is observed on July 14, is a day set apart by the Lagos State Government for promoting the planting of trees in the state.
Durosimi-Etti said that planting of trees was crucial to the well-being of the citizenry, as it helps reduce the impact of global climate change.
“When trees are cut down or forests are cleared, the earth becomes poorer, because one tree can sequester more than one ton of carbon dioxide in its lifetime.
“Therefore, planting trees and avoiding deforestation are key measures in reducing the human impact on global climate change.
“Active involvement in tree planting programmes leads to a stronger sense of community socialisation and the promotion of environmental stability and ethics,” said the commissioner in his address, delivered by the college Librarian, Mrs Omotayo Oluwole.
He said that the government was intensifying its efforts toward achieving a greener and healthier state by establishing three additional recreational parks at Ikeja, Alimosho and Badagry.
Durosimi-Etti also disclosed that the Jibowu scenic and recreational park is at 80 per cent completion and would be delivered by the end of the year.
He said that six other major parks would be developed in Oregun, Iponri, Ikotun, Ikoyi, Iganmu and Epe areas of the state.
“This will ensure that all residents benefit immensely from the new policy direction of this administration, driven by tourism and recreation,” he said.
The commissioner appealed to the private sector and non-governmental organisations to partner with the state government to foster execution of environmental programmes.
“Environmental regeneration and renewal programmes are capital intensive, which no government should handle alone.
“I want to use this opportunity to call on the private sector NGOs, international bodies to partner with the State in a bid to improve the general well-being of the citizenry,” he said.
Stressing the need for tree planting, Dr Omolola Ladele, Provost, AOCOED, said: “One of the indirect benefits of trees is the reduction in the carbon dioxide and other emissions from power plants.
“Also, the environmental benefit of trees to give oxygen that we need to breathe and improve the quality of our air by filtering harmful substances is monumental.
“The list of the benefit of trees is inexhaustible,” she said.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Chairman of AOCOED Planting Committee, Dr. Babalola Isiaka, reiterated the need to be involved in tree planting.
He said that planting of trees would help prevent future occurrence of natural disasters.
“We can see what is happening in Japan now. The mudslide has claimed a lot of lives and it is because of the global warming, and so many trees are being cut down.
“The carbon dioxide that the tree ought to have absorbed goes back to the atmosphere and forms a layer.
“The heat that should have gone back to stratosphere remains within the earth surface and the earth continues to get warmer and warmer every day.
“Hence, the trees we plant have a lot to do with checking and militating against these disasters,” he said.
Isiaka called on the media and education bodies to continue to educate the public on the importance of tree planting for the survival of humans.
By Adebola Adegoke