The Lagos State Government on Thursday, July 14, 2022, said that 5,000 trees would be planted across the state in the month of July.
Speaking at the 2022 Lagos State Tree Planting Day Ceremony, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, Deputy Governor of the state, said that planting trees was a way of expressing love for nature.
The 2022 tree planting ceremony which held at the Dr Abayomi Finnih Recreation Park, Oregun, Ikeja, had ”In Harmony With Nature” as its theme, and was organised by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK).
Hamzat said the tradition of tree planting across the state had contributed to building a greener and healthier environment and promoted a balance in the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations.
The deputy governor was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of the deputy governor, Mrs Mobolaji Daba.
Hamzat said the theme, in harmony with nature, reminded of the need to protect relationship with nature.
According to him, people’s gratitude to the diverse species of living creatures including trees tends to be forgotten in their busy lives as they take for granted, the interdependent web that sustains human life with clean water, food, oxygen, fertile soil, climate regulation and more.
”In spite of positive progress on policies, science and technology, the alarm related to the health of our planet is ringing very loudly to announce that we must go into emergency mode.
”No city or country in the world is immune from the adverse effects of climate change – we are witnessing food and water insecurity, rising temperatures, weather extremes, natural disasters, economic disruption, conflict, terrorism and in our own dear state Lagos, floods from anthropogenic activities.
”Indeed, tree planting is now regarded as a lifelong investment that has a surprising potential to positively impact All 17 Sustainable Development Goals.
”Dear Lagosians, the environmental crisis did not begin globally; it began locally. One of the most important aspects of rearticulating human development is to be fair to nature and other living beings.
”We cannot be developed unless our lives become reconnected and in balance, cooperation and harmony with nature,” he said.
Hamzat said that with the Lagos State Climate Action Plan (2020–2025), the government was serious about incorporating climate-friendly initiatives into everything it does.
He said there was growing awareness among the citizenry about the need to rethink the way they lived and consumed, as well as the roles that each could play to make a difference.
”While the government is expected to lead the process, success will depend on concerted efforts by all stakeholders.
”There is clearly no more time to waste if we want to restore hope for the present and future generations.
”Nature must be at the heart of development, and all of us, as societies, companies and individuals must make conscious effort to live in harmony with nature,” the deputy governor said.
In his opening remarks, Mr Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, said that July 14 of every year is observed as planting of trees state-wide.
Bello, who was represented by the Director, Ecology and Conservation, Mrs Tolulope Adeyo, said the theme for this year’s celebration was influenced by the need for people to collectively take steps to build a sustainable relationship with the ecosystem.
He said that one of the simplest ways was to plant and nurture as many trees as possible, which was why the Tree Planting Day celebration would always remain significant in the history of the state.
According to him, apart from the planting activities that will be done, which will be flagged off by the Commissioner for Environment & Water Resources, trees will also be planted simultaneously across the 57 Local Governments Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.
”Our representatives at the local level have been mobilised and up to the task. To ensure a seamless planting exercise, free tree seedlings are being distributed to the local authorities, as well as interested individuals, private organisations and NGOs.
”It is projected that about 5,000 trees will be planted throughout the month of July.
”Through our advocacy programmes, we will continue to enlighten the public that trees are a vital part of our ecosystem and an immense contributor to human life,” the commissioner said.
By Oluwatope Lawanson and Florence Onuegbu