• Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Sanwo-Olu urges Lagosians to plant trees

S’Court verdict: Sanwo urges opposition to join forces with Tinubu

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has called on Lagosians to support his administration’s determination in conserving the state environment by planting trees.

Sanwo-Olu made the appeal at Ikoyi during the kick-off of the1,000 tree planting project in Lagos tagged, “The Evergreen Project Lagos,” an initiative of Mahika Anmol Gupta of the African Steel Evergreen Project (ASTEP).

He also affirmed that the state government is committed to tree planting since 2008, adding that it had planted over eight million trees in the last 13 years.

Revealing that 60,000 trees had also been planted across different locations in the state during his tenure, he described such efforts as a demonstration of his administration’s commitment to preserving the environment for future generations.

However, he commended the Gupta family for the tree planting initiative and urged other residents of the state to join the effort for more trees to be planted in the state.

Governor Sanwo-Olu who planted a tree during the event urged Lagosians to use the event as a change of mind set and ideas to preserve the environment for the children to have a greater future.

“I want to ask everyone to push and encourage laudable initiatives like this so that we can preserve our Lagos. We can preserve a place where we all call home and we can ensure that the future that is in the hands of teenagers who are here today is secured. We should plant more trees to save the environment,” he said.

Speaking at the event, Mahika Anmol Gupta lauded governor Sanwo-Olu for encouraging the young ones to be involved in planting trees by honouring their invitation to attend the programme.

Gupta recalled that here choice of Lagos state as a case study in her geography class motivated her to delve in to tree planting exercise so as to give back to the environment what had been taken from it.

Read also: Why we are leading environmental change in Nigeria through tree planting – Salami

“Sitting in my geography class, researching Lagos as my case study, the thought dawned upon me, this is my city and it is my responsibility to help shape its future. A greener Lagos is what I aim to achieve. The building of a better future should start with me, and if not me, who? And I decided to take the first step towards building a better Lagos”, she narrated.

While stating that a sustainable future is the only future, she said: ‘’We at ASTEP aim to plant at least 1000 trees before the end of the year. We aim to create a Lagos for coming generations, with cleaner air to breathe. We aim to give back to mother earth what we have taken from it”.

Describing Lagos as the commercial capital of Nigeria, the giant of Africa, she said: “As proud as we are of this, we cannot overlook the resultant pollution levels. It is no secret that trees act as a carbon sponge in our atmosphere. By reducing the CO2 concentration and increasing the O2, we are creating a cleaner and less polluted atmosphere for ourselves and future generations. We are creating a Lagos, which we can be even prouder of. This is my goal for the beautiful state I call my home”.

Given a brief background of the project, she said it is being supported by African Steel Mills (ASM), flagship enterprise of the African Industries Group (AIG) which over have contributed to the community in various ways.

On his part, co -partner of the initiator of the Evergreen Project, Kayode Fasawe had the organisation as a newly established, youth led non-governmental organisation that aimed at creating more sustainable life style in Lagos.

According to a report from ASTEP, Nigeria had lost 96 per cent of its forest due to deforestation. The report also added that in 2020, Lagos lost 650 hectares of tree cover.

The loss of trees and other vegetation, the report explained had resulted in climate change, soil erosion, desertification, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, loss of plant and animal habitats and a number of other problems.

In addition, it said: “climate change with its associated impacts is a global hot button issue. Living in Lagos, a coastal city with a rapidly growing population rising sea levels, flooding and other extreme weather changes are of major concern.

“Involving the youth in addressing the global climate change crisis is critical. The youth are constantly being advised to “act now because the future is in our hands”. As such, we have set up the project to be able to meaningfully engage with Lagos’ large and vibrant youth population,” the report added.