As the World marks the 2019 World Environment Day, a researcher, Titi Oguntoye, has said that tree planting is one of the cheapest and sustainable ways to tackle air pollution, especially in cities.
Oguntoye of the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan, said this while speaking on Wednesday in Ibadan.
The 2019 World Environment Day is tagged, “Beat Air Pollution’’.
The day, which is celebrated annually on June 5, is an initiative of the United Nations to effectively combat problems of environmental degradation.
According to Oguntoye, air pollution is an increasing problem for many cities and urban areas.
She said that a variety of air pollutants have harmful effects on human health and the environment.
“Air pollution is a silent killer, the World Health Organisation estimates that air pollution kills about seven million people globally every year and 91 per cent of the world’s population lives in places where air quality exceeds WHO guideline limits.
“The vast majority of these deaths occur in low to middle income countries like Nigeria.
“Air pollutants are everywhere, they are largely caused by human activities, including burning fossil fuels for electricity and transportation, open bush burning, industrial activities and poor waste management,” she said.
Oguntoye said promoting tree planting practices in urban areas is important to fight the effects of air pollution caused by man-made activities and population growth.
“Nature gives us back whatever we give her or how we treat her.
“Tree planting is a cost-effective way to reduce air pollution through the natural ability of trees to release oxygen and filter the air.