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LASG initiates tree planting across four isolation centers, other locations

By Idowu Abdullahi

LASG initiates tree planting across four isolation centers, other locations

In recognition of health and frontline workers in the fight against coronavirus, the Lagos State Government has planted trees across four major isolation centers in the state as ceremonial sites, among other locations for this year’s tree planting day celebration.

It explained that the protective role trees play in the environment and the roles of the health workers in protecting people from diseases and pandemics such as that of coronavirus necessitated the tree planting across isolation centers in honor of frontline workers.

The State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the initiative was in line with his administration’s emergency response to restore the natural environment by planting trees and embarking on activities that will restore environment’s biodiversity to aid its fight against all form of diseases including coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking while planting trees at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba, in commemoration of the 2020 Tree Planting Day, the Governor noted that it had become imperative to protect the natural composition of the environment and embrace actions that would discourage degradation of ecosystem.

Sanwo-Olu, who also inaugurated a 48-capacity morgue donated by IHS Nigeria Limited to support the government’s effort in its fight against the deadly respiratory disease, dedicated this year’s Tree Planting Day to all health and emergency workers on the frontline.

“This year’s Tree Planting Day is in honour of our frontline medical personnel, who toil, day after day, in the most challenging circumstances imaginable, on behalf of the rest of us. However, these are challenging times for cities across the world. The coronavirus pandemic has drastically altered the way we live our lives and do business. There is a new normal, and it is now becoming clear that we may never return to the old ways of doing things.

“But, even amidst the challenges of COVID-19, one mistake we cannot afford to make is to ignore the existing problems and issues that predated the pandemic. COVID-19 cannot become an excuse for taking our attention away from other issues. One of such is the issue of climate change and environmental sustainability.

“Lagos has seen its own fair share of climate change. As a coastal city, we are at the mercy of rising sea levels. As Africa’s most populated city, we have seen how demographic pressures have stripped the landscape of significant amounts of its forest cover. We are not immune from global warming and the various other climatic challenges experienced around the world.” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said every resident in the State has a role to play in making Lagos a resilient city, stressing that planting of trees remained one of the best actions to mitigate the effects of climate change.

“Goal 13 of the SDGs challenges us to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts, while Goal 15 seeks to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.”

“Lagos State will continue to be at the forefront of sustainable climate action in Nigeria and Africa. Everyone has a role to play in contributing strongly to these goals, including individuals, corporate organisations, national governments, as well as sub-national governments like Lagos,” he added.

The Tree-planting events were held simultaneously in three other isolation centers across the State by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, and wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Oluremi Hamzat.

The State Government, since 2008, dedicates every July 14 as its tree-planting day as part of its sustainable actions to mitigate the impacts of climate change in line with Goals 13 and 15 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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