By Kingsley Adegboye
Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola on Sunday highlighted the importance of trees in the environment, saying that “from taking shade under trees to reveling in the aesthetics, daily we take from trees in several ways that we do not fully realize.”
Making this disclosure at the 2013 tree planting campaign which is the fifth anniversary of tree planting initiated by the state government 2008 as a way of combating the menace of erosion and other ecological challenges confronting the state, Fashola noted that the theme of this year’s exercise which is “Green is Peace”, is in recognition of the fact that the absence of enough green, especially trees, is a threat to the survival of all creatures that depend on oxygen, adding that “we need trees to absorb the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to prevent us from suffocating”.
Continuing, he said “it is not a coincidence that green leaves are often used to signify peace. Internal peace begins with the well-being of individuals, to which green holds the ace, and we know that the absence of internal peace breeds aggression towards neighbours, thereby creating several ripple effects that undermine peace and peaceful coexistence.
“A hungry man they say, is an angry man. Trees are germane to human existence. They are a direct and indirect source of food for man and animals. The absence of greens results in vegetal degradation, impoverished ecosystem and decreased biological productivity that lead to food shortage, ill health and low per capital income. We want to avoid all these situations in Lagos.
“We can see the negative effects of desert encroachment on norther Nigeria already. It is ravaging 11 of the 19 northern states and rendering the land bare. The lack of sufficient vegetation in some parts has been fingered as the major cause of the several clashes between Fulani herdsmen and native crop gowers. The loss arable land compels herdsmen to search for greener pastures, and this creates conflict between them and farmers because their animals invariably graze on cultivated farmlands”, Fashola said.