By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Consevator General, National Park Service, Dr. Ibrahim Musa Goni has given reasons why all Nigerians including Landlords should embark on tree planting.
Goni stated this at the backdrop of the International Day of Forests (IDF) held annually on 21 March with the theme: `Forests and Biodiversity’ which he said are too precious to loose.
The day is to raise awareness of the importance of forests to people and their vital role in poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and food security.
Goni said the service makes it a regular practice to deliberately plant trees for the good of the environment and humans.
He therefore urged all landlords in the country to plant at least a tree in his or her compound.
“We deliberately grow natural trees and nurture them all year round in our parks to serve as a buffer in natural disasters such as flood and rainfalls as part of ecological restoration.
“Each time we have dignitaries at any of our seven parks across the country, we make them plant trees and enlighten them on the importance of tree planting.
“This is to encourage them to imbibe the spirit of tree planting and we also call on land lords across the nation to always plant at least a tree in their compounds.
He urged that all Landlords should plant trees in their compounds so that the environment will be better off.
He said that Nigerians must all work consciously at reversing the loss of forest cover and increasing forest area by 3 per cent worldwide by 2030 as stated by the United Nation.
According to him, `the service is always engaging stakeholders to discuss the challenges of halting and reversing deforestation and to jointly explore ways to accelerate progress.
“This is to help them have a better understanding of their roles and contributions in promoting forest activities to halt deforestation and expand forest areas.
“Many see our parks as no man’s land where you can go in an out at will to cut down trees for fire woods, making of charred coals and sources of timbers for building’’.
He said that the federal government is spending a lot both in human and financial resources to deliberately plant, preserve and conserve these forests.
“Forests are home to 80 per cent of the world’s terrestrial biodiversity, provide livelihoods for humans and also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion and mitigate climate change.
“We depend on forests for our survival, from the air we breathe to the wood we use and yet, despite our dependence on forests, we are still allowing them to disappear’’.
The CG said that after oceans, forests are the world’s largest storehouses of carbon and provide ecosystem services that are critical to human welfare.
“Forests absorb harmful greenhouse gasses that produce climate change: in tropical forests alone, a quarter of a trillion tons of carbon is stored in above and below ground biomass.
“They provide clean water for drinking, bathing, and other household needs, protect watersheds, reduce the amount of erosion and chemicals that reach waterways as well as provide food and medicine.
He said the service has been promoting dialogue across sectors and stakeholder on how to collectively achieve the globally agreed targets of halting deforestation and increasing forest cover.