Addressing Climate Change Through Tree Planting



Addressing Climate Change Through Tree Planting

Fight against climate change by planting trees
By Martha Agas, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Deforestation is one of the major contributors to climate change which is widely practiced across Nigeria, exposing the country to global warming and its adverse effects.

According to a UNDP report, In Nigeria, each year 13 million hectares of forest are lost while 3.6 billion hectares suffer from desertification affecting mainly poor communities.

The Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), in its message on World Environment Day 2021, said that from 1960 to date, the country has lost 95% of its forest due to deforestation and habitat degradation activities such as clearing of agricultural land.

Worried by the situation, President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Afrik21, at the 2019 Climate Action Summit in New York, said that 25 million trees would be planted each year in Nigeria to improve the carbon sink and fight against climate change. To achieve this goal, the federal government calls on national and international organizations.

As part of the effort to achieve the feat in the north central state plateau, Governor Simon Lalong in 2020 reported the campaign to plant 250,000 trees in the state labeled, ‘Plant for Peace Campaign’ for mitigate climate change in a joint initiative with an organization, Green Renaissance Africa. The initiative will include the planting of trees in schools, the development of local nurseries and community trainings.

The state, under the Nigeria Erosion and Water Shed Management Project (NEWMAP), planted 25,000 trees in five local government areas of Pankshin, Kanke, Shendam, Wase and Bokkos. The success of the outreach, as stated by State Environment Commissioner Usman Sidi, encouraged its expansion to four other local governments where 50,000 seedlings would be planted in each.

He said 2,000 trees had been planted so far in main streets in the metropolis of Jos / Bukuru and at the State Secretariat, to replace trees removed for threatening construction structures, with plans to plant them. more on the main streets of the state.

The commissioner said the state government was involving private organizations in the tree planting campaign and wrote to business organizations asking them to convert their corporate social responsibility (CSR) into tree planting, as part of efforts to combat climate change.

The resilience to climate change in the state has also spurred the uplift of a social media campaign led by young activist Mr. Ponfa Miri, tagged #GoGreenPlateau earlier in the year, to plant 1,000 trees each. in the state’s 17 local governments, of which 450 trees have been planted.

“In March, I wrote an article on the possibility of planting 17,000 trees in the Plateau, ie 1,000 trees in each of the local communities and I had a positive response.

Conversations about the tree-planting campaign on social media also included the economic importance of trees and the need for every family and community to plant trees, he said.

Miri noted that planting trees would meet many of the SDG targets that are interrelated, explaining that target 13 depends on climate change, target 17 on partnership for goals, while tree planting economic can help fight against poverty which is objective one.

He urged young people to take action to tackle human activities that are causing climate change such as deforestation, while urging leaders at all levels to take deliberate action and implement policies to preserve the environment.

Likewise, Ms. Gloria Bulus, West Africa Regional Coordinator for the Africa Climate Reality Project, said Nigeria, as a signatory to the Paris Agreement aimed at reducing global emissions, should enforce its environmental laws to deal with climate issues and strengthen its protection agencies in all states. to enforce the laws.

She said cutting down trees makes the land more vulnerable to climate change, as trees serve as the earth’s lungs by providing clean air.

Bulus, who is also the coordinator of the environmental civil society network in Nigeria, urged the media to raise awareness and awareness of the benefits of trees to encourage its planting, while calling for collaborative efforts between the government , communities, religious and private groups. organizations on tree planting initiatives.

Govt. should organize a tree planting day and possibly make it a holiday for exercise. If people see leaders like the president and other top leaders, they would like to emulate the gesture, she said.

She described the deforestation in Kaduna state, where she is based, as alarming, adding that more than 30 trucks haul firewood from the forest every day on the highways without replacing the thrill trees.

She said that to support tree planting initiatives, children should be particularly encouraged in the gesture and forced to plant trees in their various schools.

The environmental activist, who is also the founder of a Kaduna-based non-governmental organization, Bridge that Gap, said efforts were being made to implement a massive afforestation project in the state, where the reserves forests have been exhausted.

She said the location of the project had already been mapped, an analysis of the viability of trees to be planted had been carried out and a strategy document had been produced, while various engagements with traditional and government officials for her successes were underway.

Likewise, Mr. Chidiebere Ukanyirioha, expert in forestry and environmental management at the Federal Forestry College in Jos, called for the creation of urban forests, where trees are planted in households, streets and communities to fight against Deforestation.

He recommended that the government have plantations, create forest reserves and woodlots to combat deforestation, especially in communities where trees are cut down for use as firewood.

He further explained that woodlots should be established for use in such communities, where they can harvest trees for use and replace them, especially by planting species that grow back when cut.

Likewise, Plateau Environment Commissioner Usman Sidi said the World Bank’s REDD + project designed to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation has captured the communities that have been devastated. by human activities through such actions in the State, to give them alternative sources of livelihood, in order to discourage the destruction of forest reserves.

Earlier this year, the federal government distributed 30 clean stoves, 30 gas stoves and other accessories, to be used as alternative energy sources for cooking, instead of deforestation. Those who live around the forest reserves either communal or in the official journal have been the beneficiaries, he said.

He said deforestation should be a concern for everyone, as global warming has increased the lack of rainfall and livelihoods in the Plateau which is an agrarian state, expressing concern over the impact of the situation. on food security.

He said the Plateau government would reactivate divisional forestry officers in its local government areas to control deforestation and also consider hiring ad hoc labor, to augment forestry officers in intensifying surveillance. and the community tree planting campaign.

He urged the public to plant at least two trees in 2021 that are not necessarily exotic species.

He said local species such as mango trees can easily be cultivated, adding that schools in the state have been urged to develop policies to ensure that every student plants a tree in 2021.

Even though Nigeria is still grappling with the projected planting of 25 million trees per year, it is hoped that the concerted efforts of its people and various key stakeholders will help achieve the feat and end the effects. adverse effects of climate change. (NANFeatures)

This report is supported by the Taz Panter Foundation with the support of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
*** If used, please credit the writer and the Nigerian News Agency (NAN)


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