The Lagos State Government says its target of planting 10 million trees by 2020 is achievable, even as it commended residents of the State for gradually coming to term with the strategic importance of trees for collective survival.
The government said that tree planting in Lagos State was fast becoming a culture among the citizens.
Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Babatunde Durosimi-Etti, stated this on Saturday during the commemoration of the 2018 Tree Planting Day in Kosofe Local Government Area of the State.
He maintained that the continued involvement of the citizens in tree planting programs would further guarantee a stronger sense of community socialization and as well as environmental responsibility needed for community renewal and action programmes.
He said; “Residents of the State now beautify the frontage of their apartments without being forced to do so. Marketmen and women, artisans, taxi driver and other transport associations now plant trees and take abode underneath. It is gratifying and heartwarming to note that we are all committed to bequeathing a better environment for the generation yet unborn.”
Durisinmi-Etti, who was represented by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Environment, Mr. Babatunde Humpe, stated that as government intensified efforts to develop road infrastructure in the State, greater commitment is also being shown to ensure that the roads are adorned with trees and beautiful flowers. “Wherever road construction takes away the trees, we replant new ones in a more suitable environment; consistent with our greening policy aimed at mitigating climate change and combating global warming.”
He added that the “Plant a Tree Initiative” that recently took place in all the five Divisions of the state was a deliberate effort by the present administration to replace all trees that were affected by the infrastructural development such that if a tree is cut down in the course of government’s renewed vigour to deliver world-class infrastructure, five new ones are planted as replacement.”
He used the occasion to inform Lagosians that the Jibowu scenic and recreational park is already at 80% completion and will be delivered before the end of the year, adding that the establishment of florists Village in all the Divisions of the State is on course with the pilot scheme in Osborne Verges, Ikoyi nearing completion.
“Six other major parks will be developed in Oregun, Iporin, Ikotun, Ikoyi, Iganmu and Epe areas of the State. This will ensure that all residents benefit immensely from the new policy direction of this administration driven by tourism and recreations.” The Commissioner reiterated.
While acknowledging the fact that environmental regeneration and renewal programmes are gulping a huge resources on the part of the government, the Commissioner called on the private sector, Non-Governmental Organization (NGOs), international donor to partner with the State in its bid to improve the general well-being of the citizenry through a cleaner, greener and safer environment.
Also speaking at the event, the General Manager of Lagos State Parks and Gardens, LASPARK, Mrs. Balikiss Abiola- Adebiyi, disclosed that the state government had in the last 11 years planted 7,539,221 trees through the support of members of the public, assuring Lagosians that the target of planting 10 million trees by 2020 was achievable.
She stressed the need to erect structures according to nature’s laws and rise above the financial, ecological, and social tides of urban growth by incorporating ecological principles for better urban planning and development.
The General Manager commended Lagosians who have shown incredible support for the State’s greening programmes. She said, “Some residents of the State have started marking their birthdays by planting trees; Tree competitions have sprung up in most of our schools; Elderly have reignited their lives by relaxing at various parks; Parents now bring their children to parks on weekend and during holidays to catch fun.”
She also informed that the effort to re-invent nature and make Lagos greener and more habitable recently received international recognition from the Climate Reality Project, a non-governmental organisation chaired and funded by Al-Gore, a former president of the United State of America.
Citing the instance of several states who have visited the agency specifically the recent delegation sent by Governor Willie Obiano of Anambra State to understudy the successful greening programme of Lagos State with the aim of replicating the Agency, the General Manager posited that LASPARK will continue to promote healthier environmental practices that will guarantee quality life for every resident of the State.