THE Lagos State Government says it has planted over 7.5 million trees in the last nine years, toward a sustainable environment.
Mr Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources made this known on Tuesday, during the Year 2020 Lagos State Tree Planting Day programme at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba.
Bello said that in 2008, under the administration of Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Lagos State Government declared every July 14 as Lagos State Tree Planting Day.
He said that this was further established as a statutory responsibility of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) in its Law of 2011 Section 20(1).
”Till date, over 7.5 million trees have been planted since LASPARK was established in 2011.
”In addition to this, Tree Planting has contributed in no small measure to the present administration’s goal to achieve a Healthy and Sustainable Environment, which is a key component of its T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda.
”Trees constitute life and tree planting is one of the deliberate climate change measures of the present administration in Lagos State Government to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #13 – one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to combat climate change and its impacts.
”Lagos State features in a network of 100 cities in the world that are working toward strengthening the world’s ecosystem resilience.
”This forms a major bulwark of the importance attached to massive tree planting,” the commissioner said.
According to him, massive tree planting is considered a major potent weapon against desertification, control of the menace of erosion and a mitigating factor against climate change and man’s natural endowment.
He said that the theme for Year 2020 Lagos State Tree Planting Day ”Trees for Life” was very instructive.
Bello said that year 2020 started like every other year – with very high expectations, and no one anticipated that it would herald COVID-19 – a disease that had become a pandemic and was in no hurry to loosen its grip on mankind.
He noted that the interdependence of man and the environment in which humans exist was becoming increasingly clearer.
”This is what informed the choice of “Trees for Life”,” Bello said.
He said that the state had adopted four of its major isolation centres as ceremonial sites for this year’s tree planting day celebration.
According to him, planting at these locations is very significant in view of this year’s theme, hoping that the trees being planted will outlive the people.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports the Lagos State Government dedicated the 2020 Tree Planting Day to COVID-19 frontline health workers.
The Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had recognised that nations looked at the issue of health holistically.
Abayomi said that the health of human beings was intertwined with the health of the environment and the health of the food people eat.
He expressed gratitude that this year’s tree planting session was dedicated to the frontline health workers.
According to him, COVID-19 is a phenomenon and it represents that we have not clearly understood the synergy between environment and health.
”The destruction of the environment is what is responsible for all the zoonotic infectious diseases that we are seeing around the world,” he said.
The General Manager, LASPARK, Mrs Adetoun Poopola, lauded the frontline health workers for their sacrifice and dedication through the challenging times.
”Just like the trees, you give us hope and courage to persevere, even in the harshest condition,” Poopola said.
She commended the staff members of LASPARK for ensuring a greener and healthier environment for future generations of Lagos State, urging that they continue to plant trees for life.
– Jul. 14, 2020 @ 16:25 GMT