****dedicates 2020 annual tree planting to COVID-19 frontline health workers
By: Kazeem Biriowo
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday, warned that Nigeria is not immune to global warming and other effects of climate change.
This was even as he dedicated the 2020 edition of the annual Tree Planting Day to Covid-19 frontline health workers for their selflessness and dedication in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic in the state.
Speaking at the flag-off of the tree planting event, themed: “Trees For Life” which held at the Infectious Diseases Hospital, IDH, Yaba, Lagos and also took place, simultaneously, at other three locations, the governor said despite the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, all hands must be on deck to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, on environment, as outlined by the United Nations.
His words:”Today, the tree planting day is dedicated to all our Covid-19 front line workers. This is why we are here at Yaba Infectious Disease Centre, the epic centre of our fight against the pandemic.
“If you remember, we acknowledged the front line workers on this year’s Workers Day. On May 29, we also acknowledged all our frontline workers today July 14, it is also dedicated to them.”
He noted that the State has seen its own fair share of climate change saying;“We are not immune to global warming and the various other climatic challenges experienced around the world.”
To this end, he urged Nigerians to key into the plan and support efforts of the government, even as the world approaches the final decade on the push for attainment of SDGs as outlined by the United Nations(UN).
Sanwo-Olu said: “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 commended the Ministry of the Environment and Lagos State Parks and Gardens, LASPARK for sustaining the culture and sensitisation of residents on the importance of tree planting.
Earlier, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Tunji Bello, said tree planting remained an effective remedial action against erosion, pointing out that the perennial problem of flooding could be solved if residents fully embraced tree planting.
He said:”The interdependence of man and the environment in which we exist is becoming increasingly clearer. As countries respond to a global pandemic, the path ahead presents possibly a once in a lifetime opportunity to shift the global development paradigm towards more sustainable and inclusive policies that will act as foundation for resilient people and societies. This is what informed the choice of ‘Tree for Life’ as the theme of this year’s tree-planting exercise.”