The Lagos State Government through Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) has unveiled its plans for the celebration of the year 2021 Lagos State Tree Planting day.
The General Manager of LASPARK Mrs Adetoun Popoola revealed these plans on Wednesday, during a press conference at the Ikeja Office of LASPARK, saying tree planting is the best defence mechanism to stop global warming adding that the State Government in 2008 declared July 14 of every year as the Lagos State Tree Planting Day.
“This is further established as a statutory responsibility of Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) in its Law 2011 Section 20(1)” she said.
Popoola said the Tree Planting Day remains a significant one as it offers the opportunity to create awareness on the need to protect the environment and enhance healthy living through the planting of trees, stressing that since the inception of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration, over 24000 trees have been planted and an additional 4,000 trees are expected to be planted at this year’s tree planting day.
With a target of planting 50,000 trees annually, the General Manager acknowledged the significance of trees at this time, in healing the world after the devastating effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Speaking further, Popoola averred that the flattening of the COVID 19 pandemic curve worldwide and the current realities encouraged the Agency to lend a hand towards global physical environment restoration efforts noting that the theme for this year’s celebration is tagged “Restore and Recover”.
The General Manager stated that tree planting is one of the cheapest nature-based climate action solutions announcing that there will be Ceremonial Tree Planting at designated locations which will be done by the Governor, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy Dr Kadir Obafemi Hazmat as well as their wives, adding that trees will also be planted simultaneously across all 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, Lagos State Ministry of Environment & Water Resources and Environmental Agencies of the State Government.
She said other environment stakeholders will as well be marking the day by planting trees at their respective domains, noting that LASPARK representatives at the 57 Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas have been sensitized and mobilized in preparation for the exercise.
While encouraging more people to participate in the tree planting event, Popoola confirmed that free tree seedlings will be distributed across all the LGAs and LCDAs in the state as well as to interested participants, private organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Community Development Associations, and other volunteers groups.
In order not to jeopardize the gains in the fight against the covid 19 pandemics, the General Manager maintained that the celebration will be devoid of the usual fanfare noting that planting at the ceremonial and designated sites across the state will be carried out in line with the recommended safety guidelines.
To inculcate the habit of tree planting in school children, Popoola disclosed that the Agency has also designed a competition for school children saying children from Lagos State Government schools between the ages of 4 and 12 will be required to create sculptures or any art form depicting their interpretation of the event theme: “Restore and Recover.”
She mentioned that schools (in each of the educational districts) with the best entries will be rewarded with learning resources like electronic tablets, books and other educational materials adding that a Mini Botanical Gardens will also be established in the winning schools, to give students opportunities of direct contact with nature to develop their talents and encourage them to conduct ecological observations.
The General Manager affirmed that LASPARK’s vision for a greener and healthier Lagos will contribute in no small measure to achieving a Healthy and Sustainable Environment as captured in the policy thrust of the Present Administration stressing that as the custodian of open spaces in Lagos, the Agency has brought into its fold, more green partners to support and advance the greenery initiatives of the State Government.
She emphasized that the alliance is considered as key infrastructural support to the state government stride in creating a more sustainable and economic viable city through Public-Private Partnership asserting that the Agency is still open to individual and private sector partnerships and collaborations to enable it to achieve more.