Sanwo-Olu urges residents against destruction of green infrastructure

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State planting a Tree during the Year 2021 Lagos State Annual Tree Planting Day at Urban Forest Park, Abraham Adesanya Way Ajay Lagos on Wednesday (14/07/21)

Infrastructure

By Oluwatope Lawanson

Lagos, July 14, 2021 (NAN) Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has advised residents to stop further destruction of critical green infrastructure in the state.

Sanwo-Olu gave the advice on Wednesday during the 2021 Lagos State Annual Tree Planting Day Celebration with the theme: ”Restore and Recover”.

Green infrastructure refers to any vegetative infrastructure system which enhances the natural environment through direct or indirect means, of which tree planting is among.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this year’s exercise took place simultaneously in 57 locations across the state.

He said it was cheaper to conserve natural habitats than to restore them later.

The governor said that trees were important in healing the world from the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to him, this year’s edition of tree planting is the most significant, as it is the first since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic and the socio-economic toll of the EndSARS protests.

”Fellow Lagosians, our mutual and sincere efforts are needed for complete restoration and recovery.

”Tree planting is a good way to restore local ecosystems and it is gratifying to note that many Lagosians have become enthusiastic about tree planting.

”Trees are astonishing, they capture carbon from the atmosphere, protect and fertilize soils and harbour many of the planet’s animals, birds and insects.

”The cultural, spiritual, and recreational role of trees makes them essential for the wellbeing of humans. All of these benefits make us more resilient, despite economic and environmental shocks,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos was one of the world’s megacities with rapid urbanisation and by 2030, it was expected that the population would double and urban space would increase.

He noted that as this happen, ecosystems and the essential natural assets they provide would come under threat.

He further said that during this time of expansion and innovation, it was imperative that natural spaces were protected and incorporated into urban landscapes.

The Lagos Deputy Gov. Dr Obafemi Hamzat planting a tree at Muri-Okunola Park, Victoria Island, Lagos on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
The governor urged the residents to improve on health indices through sustainable green infrastructure.

”This administration has placed the environment at the centre of its development agenda.

”We believe environmental protection and preservation will enhance our people’s wellbeing and quality of life. I call on you to key into this worthy cause: let us jointly preserve our environment.

”Our goal is to inspire an urban future where nature is abundant, accessible and co-managed by an active and inspired citizenry.

”Our desire is to provide green space and environmental education in all communities and create urban biodiversity corridors across the city of Lagos,” he said.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr Tunji Bello, Commissioner for Environment and Water Resources, said tree planting was still one of the cheapest nature-based climate solutions that would enhance a lasting COVID-19 recovery.

Bello said the exercise was a remarkable one, noting that Lagos State Parks and Gardens would be working with some of its partners to establish mini botanical gardens in some primary and secondary schools.

He said that the state government’s long term plan was to green the entire stretch up to Epe.

According to him, this may take another three to five years, but it is a process that has begun and by 2022, the project will have gotten to Lagos Business School, and moved further in subsequent years until it to Epe.

NAN also reports that the state government in 2008, declared July 14, every year as Tree Planting Day. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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