L-R: Olumegbon of Lagos, Chief Fatai Lawal; Lagos State Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello; Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; and Chairman, Eti-Osa Local government, Mr. Owolabi Isa, during the 2014 Tree Planting in Lagos.
Over six million trees have been planted in Lagos state since the state government initiated tree planting campaign as part of measures to reduce the impact of global climate change. Governor of the state, Babatunde Raji Fashola made the disclosure on Monday during the commemoration of the 2014 edition of the annual tree planting day.
The 2014 Industrial Tree Planting Day with the theme “Life is better with tree” was jointly organized by Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency in partnership with Guinness Nigeria Plc.
He added that besides aesthetic, health and environmental values of tree planting, the campaign has generated over 75,168 employment opportunities for horticulturists, gardeners, pruners, welders, tanker drivers, security personnel as well as water hawkers and sellers.
Fashola spoke through the General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Engineer Adebola Shabi.
According to the Lagos State Governor,” apart from aesthetic value of the trees, the health and environmental benefits are also innumerable. This exercise has also generated over 75,168 employment opportunities for horticulturists, pruners, gardeners, welders, tanker drivers, security personnel, down to the water boy, all of who help to keep the trees alive”.
In his remarks, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Seni Adetu who was represented by Director, Supply Chain, Guinness Nigeria Plc, Mr. Cephas Afebuameh, noted that Guinness Nigeria Plc was honoured to partner the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) on environmental preservation and restoration through this year’s industrial tree planting exercise.
Adetu said that “Guinness Nigeria Plc is committed to minimising environmental impact across the full range of our operations, and we are working to extend environmental standards further through our supply chain.”
Continuing, he stressed that “One of our most critical environmental impacts of all is on water – a necessity for individuals, families, communities, and local economies, as well as fundamental to the sustainability of our business”.
Mr. Adetu commended LASEPA for calling out the need for us to act now “by planting trees to ensure that we have a moister climate, restoration of degraded lands back to fertility, improved biodiversity, recharged aquifers and reduction of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere making the world a safer place”.
In his address, General Manager Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) Shabi, noted that the tree planting initiative has helped in mitigating the effect of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere as well as acting as buffer zone to reduce flooding.
“The more we plant trees, the more we reclaim our forest, beautify our surroundings and the environment. Trees act as shelters for rare and endangered animals, and also act as deflectors of sun rays and other adverse weather.” Shabi stated.
Also speaking at the event, Commissioner for the Environment Mr. Tunji Bello reiterated the benefits of tree planning adding that “Trees prevent erosion, help fight flood, regulate the climate, provide habitats for wild life and give us oxygen. It is therefore imperative that we see trees as our best friends, as they provide food, medicine, paper, houses, transport and more importantly, they add beauty to life”.
The commissioner was represented at the occasion by Director, Laboratory Services (LASEPA) Mrs. Adetola Onisarotu.
It will be recalled that Governor, Babatunde Fashola flagged-off the tree planting campaign in September 2008 with the aim of orientating residents of the state on the importance of tree planting as a mitigating measure to climate change.”