An Environmentalist, Mr Muhtari Amino-Kano, has described planting of trees as the only way to curb the effect of climate change, being a major threat to mankind.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Amino-Kano made the assertion at the inauguration of the Network of Young Catholic Carers for the Environment in Nigeria (NYCCEN) held at St. Gregory College in Lagos.
He spoke on the theme: ”Current Environmental Challenges Facing the World with Focus on Nigeria and Lagos State in Particular.”
According to him, research has shown that carbon dioxide emitted into the air from various sources can be curtailed by planting more trees.
“In 2019, a UN Panel of Experts released a report, stating that more than a million species are on the verge of disappearing from the face of the earth within decades.
“Natural ecosystems have declined by 47 per cent compared to their earliest estimates.
“This will lead to significant declines in food and water supplies,” he quoted the reports saying.
The expert said in Nigeria, desert were encroached on at 0.6 kilometres every year, adding that forests were disappearing at the rate of 350,000 football fields every year.
“Flooding everywhere, gully erosion and coastal erosion, oil pollution, drought and poor harvests, plastics pollution, solid waste and air pollution.
“In Lagos, there is depletion of marine resources, solid waste, especially plastic pollution, water pollution, wildlife trade invasive species, air pollution, flooding and coastal erosion,” he said.
The environmentalist said the solutions include good planning, minimized pollution, wise use of natural resources, renewable energy, responsible production, consumption, ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’, and most of all, plant trees and restored forests.
Amino-Kano suggested how youths could help in the fight against deforestation and the planting of more trees.
“Youths must pick up the mantle of environmental advocacy– they are most impacted. It is their present and future that is being imperiled.
“Youths have the energy and tremendous capacity for action to change things.
“In Nigeria, they form more than 60 per cent of the population and therefore, have the numbers to make themselves heard.
“Youths also have the knowledge and expertise in social media and other forms of new technology. This gives them a distinct advantage to organise,” he said.
Also, the Catholic Archbishop of Lagos, Most Rev. Adewale Martins, said that one of the first things God did in the Garden of Eden was to plant trees of all kinds for the benefit of mankind.
“God created nature sentient and non-sentient, the seas, plants and animals.
“He created the prerequisite habitats to sustain human life; He created a home for humanity.
“While we battle the current evils of tribalism, corruption and greed in our nation, we cannot ignore this pressing danger, the degradation of our physical environment and our earthly home.
“If we do not have our homes, the earth that is conducive and sustainable, we will not be alive to even be talking about the problems that we contend with everyday,” he said.