Ambode: Tree-planting Key to Mitigating Ocean Surge, Climate Change

  •  Says 10m trees to be planted by 2020

Gboyega Akinsanmi

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has warned residents of the state against uncontrolled felling of trees, noting that tree planting was a potent measure “to fight ocean surge and mitigate climate change effects.”

The governor, therefore, disclosed the plan of the state government to plant ten million trees by 2020 out of which he said six million trees had been planted across 20 local government areas (LGAs) and local council development areas (LCDAs) since the state’s tree-planting programme took off in 2010.

He stated this at the recent 2016 tree-planting day held at the NYSC Orientation Camp, Lagos, noting that tree planting “has been identified as one of the cheapest means of combating the effect of global warming and climate change.”

Ambode, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Olatunji Bello, noted that the state should plant trees “to replace those removed from vast acres of land so that we reduce the rate of ocean surge and erosion with its attendant problem of displacement of homes and communities.”
Before delivering Ambode’s message, Bello disclosed that the tree-planting programme under a theme ‘Lend a Hand to Save Trees’ was held simultaneously in 87 locations including 20 LGAs, 37 LCDAs and 8 other ceremonial sites across the state.

He added that the Deputy Governor, Dr. Oluranti Adebule stood in for the governor at the Cherubim and Seraphim Primary School, Ikorodu while wife of the governor, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode represented at the Ikosi Senior Secondary School, Ikosi.

In his keynote address, Ambode explained the importance of tree planting to Lagos metropolis, which he said, could not be over-emphasised as trees “provide oxygen, cool the atmosphere, help conserve energy, save water, prevent erosion, save children from ultra-violet rays and provide food, among other benefits.”
He added that the annual programme on tree planting was a veritable platform for Lagos to meet the target of 10 million trees by 2020, noting that the peculiarity of the state as a coastal city-state makes it prone “to several environmental challenges, a situation which demands that the government and the people must carry out infrastructural development without jeopardising the environment.”

The governor added that the fast growing urban development areas across the state “must curtail the uncontrolled felling of trees and ensure all developers adhere to all the Town Planning and Greening regulations.
“We must plant trees to replace those removed from vast acres of land so that we reduce the rate of ocean surge and erosion with its attendant problem of displacement of homes and communities.”

He alluded to the estimate of scientists that the world needs 30 billion trees annually, noting that a world without trees “is a world without life, and so as a people, Nigerians must resolve to ensure that trees are not only saved, but efforts must be geared towards planting more trees.

“Lagos has become a positive reference point in Nigeria about creating a Green environment. We remain committed to this cause and will vigorously pursue the State Greening Policy of total regeneration of degraded sites as part of our pact with Lagos residents. We will do even more.

“Already, the security and Light-up Lagos initiatives of our administration are complementing our beautiful city at night and ensuring the parks and gardens that are safe for relational purposes,” the governor said.