The Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC) and the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, have planted different species of trees at the Port Harcourt Air Force Base, as part of activities to mark this year’s World Environment Day.
Speaking at the tree planting ceremony, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima U.Ekere, called on the people of the Niger Delta region to cultivate the habit of planting trees to meet the United Nations target to end deforestation by 2030.
Mr Ekere, who was represented by the NDDC Director, Special Duties, Dr. Princewill Ekanim, said that the theme “connecting people to nature” implored the people to embrace nature and appreciate its beauty and importance.
He said: “People are the integral part of nature, with the environment as man’s only abode.”
He noted that the social-economic development had led to massive destruction of the earth, which had caused the Ozone layer depletion, flooding, ocean erosion, deforestation among others.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that symbolic tree planting would gradually become a natural event that everyone would undertake not just for celebration of World Environment Day but a spark for awareness creation and preserving the environmental heritage of the Niger Delta region.
He said the collaboration with NAF base would help engender institutional competition toward entrenching the desired environment for all in the Niger Delta and by extension the global community.
The Commander of the Port Harcourt Air Force Base, Air Commodore Mahmud Nada Madi, commended the efforts of the NDDC, in conjunction with other organizations, in protecting the environment, stating that protecting the environment will add value to humanity.
The Commodore, who was also represented by Squadron Leader Gideon Luka, emphasized the importance to tree planting, adding that “tree planting helps to control noise pollution, protect soil erosion and provide shed for the environment.”
The NDDC Director, Environment, Protection and Control, Architect Alex Okenwa expressed his gratitude to the Nigerian Air Force and called on the Niger Delta people to imbibe the habit of tree planting to truly connect people to nature.