Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) over the weekend, led the fifth edition of the annual Tree Planting campaign at the Odi-Olowo/ Ojuwoye Local Council Development Area, where he charged every resident to set a new target where every house in Lagos must have a tree in front or at its back.
The State Governor who spoke at the venue of the campaign tagged “Plant a Tree for a better Climate” reiterated his call that every resident of Lagos should take up the task of policing the environment and ensuring that no one is allowed to cut down a tree without showing a permit authorising such action.
He said global warming and climate change is real and the world is also changing hence the people cannot afford but change with it, stating that what it requires is for everyone to embrace new adaptative methods and strategies.
He said the state government has exceeded its projection on tree planting since the exercise started five years ago, adding that this has become imperative because trees act as a protection for neighbourhoods and against natural disasters.
Explaining that the protective value of trees and plants is not limited to any area or social class, the governor said in recognition of the necessity for trees to be moved and transplanted without getting killed, the state government acquired a trans-planter which can remove a tree irrespective of its size and transplant in any desired location without any harm.
Explaining that globally, the world has also experienced extreme weather and rainfall, Governor Fashola noted that in the last 24 hours over 50,000 people has been displaced in Japan just as of recent, places like Mississippi and Newcastle experienced the adverse impact of Climate Change.
On the recent flooding in Alpha beach, the governor stated that the government is aware of the plight of residents in Alpha Beach area and he will be coming to their aid. He urged them to ensure that before the government comes they should nurture a tree and protect it.
Governor Fashola also commended the efforts of the environmental ambassadors like former General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Reverend Wilson Badejo, top actor, Prince Jide Kosoko and landscape Architect, Miss Faderera Williams for the wonderful role they are playing in propagating the message of Climate Change and protection of the environment.
He also gave kudos to the former Commissioner for Environment, Dr Muiz Banire and the former Permanent Secretary in the Office of Environment, Dr (Mrs) Titi Anibaba for midwifing the conception of the tree planting campaign exercise with him.
Speaking earlier, the State Commissioner for the Environment, Mr Tunji Bello said trees also reduce the greenhouse effect by shading houses and office buildings as it also reduces the need for air conditioning by up to 30 percent which in turn reduces the amount of fossil fuels burnt to produce electricity.
He informed that the 2012 exercise is taking place simultaneously in so many locations throughout the State and that the types of trees to be planted are Ashoka(Police type), Ashoka (Hands up), Ficus(yellow) and Melaina concluding that the trees have been chosen for site specifications.
In his message of goodwill, ace actor Prince Jide Kosoko who is also an Ambassador for the Environment said everyone must realize the importance of imbibing the culture of planting trees.
He added that the fact that a resident is not a property owner does not take away anything from the necessity for everyone to be ready to plant a tree because for those who might not know, it is the people who stand to benefit most when they plant trees.
Prizes were also distributed to students who distinguished themselves in the “Me and My Tree Competition.