By Uchenna Eletuo
Lagos, Sept. 7, 2020 A group, Urban Tree Revival Initiative (UTRI), on Monday called for the preservation of indigenous trees to boost biodiversity in the country.
Ms Omobola Eko, UTRI Founder and Project Lead, made the call in an interview with newsmen, ahead of its 2020 tree summit slated to hold between Oct. 1 and Oct. 3 in Lagos.
She said that the submit would be used to groom participants on skills to plant indigenous trees and improve their genetics for easy germination and maturity.
NAN reports that UTRI is a Nigerian affiliate of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), a global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it.
Eko said that the continued abuse of indigenous trees endangered biodiversity and exposed lives to harsh weather conditions.
She said that indigenous trees which helped to regulate the ecosystem were on the endangered species list of IUCN.
The UTRI project lead described biodiversity as the variety of plant and animal life in a particular habitat, saying, majority of them were endangered.
“They are considered to be important and desirable. Some of them are calabash, bitter kola, black velvet-tamarind, bush mango, locust bean and local pear trees.
“These trees help to conserve the biodiversity which acts as a shield to lives of both animal, plants and humans,” she said.
Eko stated that many species of birds, animals and insects associated with the category of trees would be lost if the tress went extinct.
“The implication is that the earth will lose the roles that these creatures play to sustain life in the biosphere; we can be sure that pollination will be affected.
“The issue of food insecurity that has become a major concern in many nations today can be traced to this decline in natural activity and process,” she added.
She urged government and other stakeholders to support the protection of indigenous trees by evolving policies that would guard against indiscriminate felling of trees.