The Lagos State Government has said that it was distributing tree seedlings to Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO’s), individuals and the public as part of the activities that marked International Day of Forests.
The Director of Forestry in Ministry of Agriculture, Mr Kunle Otubu, made the disclosure to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Lagos.
Otubu said that the state had less than 0.2 per cent of forest coverage, and that the aim of giving out free tree seedlings was to regain carbon monoxide lost through urbanisation.
“Sad to say in Lagos, we have less than 0.2 per cent covered with forest. Our aim is now to give out tree seedlings as much as possible to people.
“So that what we have lost to deforestation will now be recovered through afforestation.
“By planting the avenue trees in roads, schools and other open areas we regain what we lost through urban forestry.
“Carbon monoxide is significant to human health but the more we have trees, the carbons produced will be used for oxygen that can used by man.
“Today, we join the United Nations to mark the day and to encourage Lagosians to see the opportunity of replacing trees lost through deforestation,’’ Otubu said.
The director also said that the state was encouraging people to plant more trees so as to improve afforestation in the state.
NAN reports that the UN General Assembly on Dec. 21st 2012 adopted a resolution which declared March 21 every year to be observed as the International Day of Forests.
Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of UN, in a statement on the UN website said that forests were essential to realising our shared vision for people and the planet.
“The world’s forests are essential to realising our shared vision for people and the planet. They are central to our prosperity and the stability of the global climate.
“That is why the Sustainable Development Goals call for transformative action to safeguard them.
“In this first year of implementing the 2030 Agenda for the SDG, the International Day of Forests.
“On their role in supporting water systems forested catchments provide three-quarters of all the freshwater used for farms, industries and houses,’’ it said.
NAN also reports that the theme for the 2016 International Day of Forests is “Forests and Water’’. (NAN)