The Lagos State Government has planted about 500,000 trees in addition to over six million trees planted across the state in the last 10 years.
The trees were planted simultaneously in 78 locations across the state to mark the celebration of the 10th year of Tree Planting which holds every 14th of July.
Governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode said that the sustained commitment to the yearly exercise has consecutively earned the State national and global recognition in environmental sustainability.
According to Governor Ambode, the tree planting initiative corroborates the State’s Environmental Sustainability Policy which, in the last two years, has guided government’s actions on matters relating to the environment.
“In order to sustain the tempo of the greener Lagos initiative and create more avenues for relaxation and family bonding, I have directed that Parks and Gardens Unit be resuscitated in all the 20 Local Government Areas and the 37 Local Council Development Areas of the State to complement the efforts of the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK). In addition, 570 newly trained youths have been empowered to jump-start the greening programme at the Local Government level,” the Governor explained.
The Special Adviser on Environment, Mr. Babatunde Hunpe represented Governor Ambode at the event.
Benefits of trees
The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babtunde Adejare said that the realisation of the role which tree planting play in protecting the environment informed the decision of the State Government to pay cursory attention to the initiative.
“Governor Ambode’s administration appreciates this reality and has remained in the forefront of environmental regeneration through its commitment to the proliferation of trees and green areas in the State,”Dr Adejare stated.
“The rapid urbanisation of Lagos has affected the bio-diversity of all forms of development activities in the State, such as building and road construction as well as production activities. Our wetland forest reserves has depreciated due to growing population and city expansion while felling of trees and destruction of the Ecosystem have thrived for socio-economic reasons,” the Commissioner explained.
He noted that uttermost disregard for nature and unfriendly environmental attitudes, continued exploitation and destruction of natural resources have left the world with dire consequences such as global warming, ocean and sea level rise among others.
Dr Adejare however urged Lagosians to team up with the government and work for the realisation of its development agenda and sustainable goals, particularly as it relates to the reforms in the environment sector.
The General Manager, Lagos state Parks and Gardens LASPARK, Mrs. Abimbola Jijoho-Ogun said that the recent flooding witnessed in the state was due to its terrain, urging all the residents of the state to support government initiative on tree planting.
“We must realise that flooding is a phenomenon and mind you, Lagos state is below sea level and this coupled with uncontrolled building process over the years which the state is currently tackling,” Mrs Jijoho-Ogun stressed.
She urged people to take advantage of clement weather to plant more trees, to mitigate the crisis of Climate change.
The event has its theme as ‘Think Green, Plant Trees, Live Green’