BEING A TEXT OF A SPEECH DELIVERED BY THE EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AMUWO ODOFIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT, COMRADE AYODELE ADEWALE, ON THE 2014 TREE PLANTING EXERCISE, HELD AT ASIWAJU BOLA AHMED TINUBU WAY, MILE 2, LAGOS STATE ON THE 14TH OF JULY,2014
“Although individual decisions may seem small in the face of global threats and trends, when billions of people join forces in common purpose, we can make a tremendous difference.”- UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki- Moo
Distinguished, I heartily welcome you to today’s programme.
I am very pleased to be with you here today to participate in this important activity of this year’s tree planting exercise.
We are all aware that trees are an important resource in our natural ecosystem with many benefits. The list of benefits is long, just to point out a few: they represent a vast reservoir of genetic resources and bio-diversity; provide important habitats for all wildlife, but in particular for threatened and endangered forest species and guarantee supplies of non-wood products such as pharmaceuticals, which have enormous export potential.
Trees are our friends. When trees are cut down or forests are cleared, the earth becomes poorer. Forests affect climate, protect the soil from erosion and help control floods. When trees are cut down, rains easily wash away valuable topsoil. It is in the topsoil that all our food is grown. If it is washed away, the earth becomes unusable for farming, with the attendant food crisis. Trees also soak up harmful carbon dioxide and puff out oxygen so that we can breathe.
Trees reverse the impacts of land degradation and provide food, energy and income, helping communities to achieve long-term economic and environmental sustainability. Trees also filter the air and help stave off the effects of climate change.
With the reality of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns and more frequent and violent storms and floods, trees cover to prevent devastating soil erosion.
At the inception of our administration, we resolved to rescue the environment from degradation through landscaping and beautification of loops, open spaces reclamation as well as tree planting exercise. All these were aimed at improving the quality of the air we breathe, controlling diseases and combating climate change.
In the realization of the importance of trees to sustainable environment, our tree-planting campaign continues to wax stronger. It is interesting to note that we have planted over 5,000 trees of various species across the community including, Kings Palms, Queens Palms, Royal Palms, and others suitable for our clime.
Distinguished, to sustain this noble project, we created the green club comprising youths. Its responsibility is to nurture and maintain the trees, plant more trees, and ensure a green environment.
There is also the special climate change unit, the first and only existing kind in the entire country, at the local government level. This unit is responsible for sensitizing and creating awareness in the community of the effect of climate change. Aside this, we have gone into partnership with private organizations to continue the education of members of the public.
In addition, we have also engaged the pupils of primary institutions of learning with the purpose of ‘catching them young,’ and inculcating in them the right orientation about their environment, more so, to come to terms with climate change at an early age.
Still on the matter, we created a special environmental unit to ensure regular sanitation of the local government environment and proper waste management.
Our noble efforts in environmental sustainability have been pursued with unmatched zeal in the history of the local government area, and have not gone unnoticed, with local and international recognitions coming in regularly.
We have at a time won the Federal Government award as the best local government on environmental sustainability in 2009. There is also the Lagos state award as one of the local government with the best nurtured trees in 2011.
In recognition of our commitment on the subject matter, we have also been invited to partake in several international conventions, seminars and workshops on climate change and environmental sustainability, including COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark, COP16 in Cancun, Mexico, COP17 in Durban South Africa, Cop18 Catar and COP19 Nantis France.
Today, we are more than motivated to do more in the areas of tree planting and environmental sustainability.
Distinguished, despite all these concerted efforts, it is disturbing to note that, many people are still ignorant about climate change and are hell bent of destroying our environment.
Presently, In our local government, various forms of environmental abuse including indiscriminate refuse dumping, bush burning, high fossil fuel consumption, deforestation etc leading to degradation are widespread resulting in the imbalance of the ecosystem that naturally plays a moderating role globally.
Ladies and gentlemen, the wrong in the environment is worrisome and we are concerned; it is expedient that everyone must join the current face of environmental regeneration. To this end, I enjoin you to please join the crusade to sustain a healthy environment for this and future generations by:
- Beautifying and enhancing the aesthetics of your environments
- We must desist from dumping refuse into the drainage channels and water bodies also Desist from indiscriminate burning of refuse
- Disposing waste properly by patronizing the PSP operators and paying waste disposal bills.
- Indiscriminate felling of trees and deforestation must be discouraged. We must cultivate a culture of
- Planting a tree at every given opportunity
Distinguished, I wish to reiterate that the present Government is committed to the green campaign and urge you all to continue to embrace this noble cause. I also strongly implore you all to protect these trees and ensure they live so that we all can live.
Finally, Ladies and Gentlemen, today’s occasion should not be seen as the end of such an important activity, but rather as an annual event and way of reminding us to be more conscious of the need to protect our environment.
I thank you all for your attention and GOD.
COMRADE AYODELE ADEWALE
AMUWO ODOFIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT