Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Sunday, July 14, 2019 said tree planting remains a strong tool to tackle the effect of climate change.
Sanwo-Olu spoke at the 2019 Tree Planting Sensitisation Campaign with theme: “Clean and Green is Our Perfect Dream’’, organised by the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) and held simultaneously in key locations across the state.
The governor, who was represented by his wife, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, at the exercise held at Bisola Durosinmi-Etti, Off Admiralty Way, Lekki, described climate change as the most significant material risk to the future.
He noted that all hands should be on deck to combat it.
Sanwo-Olu said: “It is no longer plausible to continue to pretend that we have a society at ease with itself, as climate change pose most devastating threat to human survival.
“Let us be reminded that there is no short- or long-term benefit of cutting down trees. The notion that when a tree is cut down, five trees should be planted as a replacement is grossly inadequate.
“The truth is that, while tree replacement may perfectly rekindle our hope, they are not equal in biodiversity.
“Man-made forest does not compensate for the damage and degradation done to the ecosystem through land clearance. Therefore, when primary tropical forest is lost, they can never be recovered,’’
Sanwo-Olu said government was aware that substantial progress had been made toward optimising economic values of green spaces globally.
He said developing new opportunities around green spaces to propel the green economy was cardinal to his administration’s developmental policy.
“Indeed, the green economy will provide another platform for our ambitious city to promote its green credentials, improve citizens’ health and sustain the environment,’’ he said.
Sanwo-Olu, therefore, called on the people to establish the right attitude that supported government policy on the environment.
He specifically urged residents to join hands with his administration to rid the state of waste, as well as improve the aesthetics of the environment by adorning it with ornamental plants, beautiful flowers, shrubs and trees.
Speaking on the theme, the governor said it was apt and in line with his THEMES agenda for the state especially in terms of ensuring a cleaner, greener, healthier and safer environment.
He noted that achieving an eco-sustainable development that would make enduring impact was only attainable through collective consistent stride of all residents to do little things that had major impact on the mother earth.
“To this end, let’s resonate it across the city of Lagos that as we mark our birthdays, let’s plant a tree; as we dedicate our children, let’s plant a tree; as we celebrate our children’s graduation, let’s plant a tree.
“Whatever memorable event that we do, let’s endeavour to mark it with planting of trees. This little act of benevolence to nature can save our planet from further destruction.
“We must be aware that this symbolic planting ceremony would amount to nothing if these trees are not accorded adequate care.
“I, hereby, encourage all Lagosians to see this act as a pride by caring for these trees and see them grow to maturity for the benefit of humankind,’’ Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor said in furtherance of his commitment to a green and sustainable environment, the state government would soon re-launch the ‘One House, One Tree’ Campaign across the state.
He said the development would ensure that every house in Lagos possessed at least one tree which would go a long way to intensify the greening project.
Earlier, the General Manager, LASPARK, Mrs Bilikiss Adebiyi-Abiola, said the motive behind the yearly tree planting campaign was to inculcate its importance into the minds of Lagosians.
She said July 14, of every year had been set aside by the state government to carry out ceremonial tree planting across various locations in the state.
Adebiyi-Abiola said trees were planted simultaneously in 77 locations across the state to mark the day.
She emphasised the need to protect existing trees and plant more as well as protect the environment.
By Folasade Adeniran