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Lagos Unveils Measures To Combat Climate Change

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LAGOS, July 14, (THEWILL) - Lagos State Government today began the planting of about 20 million trees between now and 2011 as a measure to fight flood amongst ripple effects of climate change.

This was disclosed when the Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Muiz Banire urged each Lagosian to plant at least one tree at the 2010 tree planting campaign in Lagos where Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe represented Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN).

By keeping to the one-man-one-tree campaign, Banire added that 20 million trees would have been planted in the next one year to mitigate against the impact of climate change.

According to him, the one man-one tree campaign is aimed at urging Lagos residents to cultivate the habit of planting at least a tree in order to increase the aesthetic of the Lagos environment.

The commissioner said the annual tree planting was part of government’s resolve to ensure the continued survival of the human race which depends on the oxygen provided by trees.

He added that "It is also intended to take the beautification of our state to an enviable level by ensuring that our environment wears a grand look of beauty masterpiece capable of competing with modern cities of the world. It is to encourage all of us on the need to plant trees as a way of not only showing respect for nature but also keeping ourselves alive and well.

"The aggressive environment regeneration in Lagos State is adequately justified by the urgent need to stem the current forces of global warming and climate change ravaging the entire global terrain in a devastating manner which in all ways seem retaliatory by nature.

"The consequences include intensive heat, ocean acidification, deforestation, flood, loss of bio-diversity, acid rain and volcanic eruption, among others. Many countries of the world have been victims of such disaster," he said.

He said the increasing drive for technological and industrial transformation "has left us in the current mess, saying that the elimination of the green areas for building, discharge of dangerous gases into the atmosphere, indiscriminate felling of trees, among others exposed the environment to hazards as plants which were supposed to trap carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere and release the oxygen for human beings were being ruthlessly destroyed."

Speaking through the head of service at the campaign today, Fashola re-echoed the fact that if trees were planted in erosion-prone areas, the menace of erosion would be curbed.

Fashola said tree planting had provided a steady source of jobs for 43 companies and their employees, adding that as at the last count, over 4, 800 people had been employed directly and indirectly in a continuous cycle of supplies, labour, transportation, nursery and seedling development; sand mining and supplies, welding and fabrication.

The governor added: "As the whole world focuses on the preservation of nature as mitigation and adaptation strategies against the adverse effects of climate change such as flooding and green house gases; the demand for more trees can only increase.

"We are already acting proactively to be at the forefront of policy formulation and decision making to ensure that our people are not left behind.

"A botanical garden is being developed and an institutionalization of tree planting and greening through the use of law has received the blessing of the State House of Assembly with the imminent passage of the law establishing the Park and Gardens Commission," said Fashola.