The Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK), has unveiled its plans for the celebration of the year 2021 Tree Planting day.

The General Manager of LASPARK, Mrs. Adetoun Popoola, unveiling the plans on Wednesday at a press conference held at the Ikeja office of LASPARK, stated that tree planting is the best defence mechanism to stop global warming, hence the State Government, in 2008, declared July 14 of every year as the Lagos State Tree Planting Day.

Popoola said the Tree Planting Day remains significant as it offers the opportunity to create awareness on the need to protect the environment and enhance healthy living through the planting of trees, stressing that since the inception of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration over 24,000 trees have been planted and an additional 4,000 trees are expected to be planted at this year’s tree planting day.

With a target of planting 50,000 trees annually, the General Manager acknowledged the significance of trees at this time in healing the world after the devastating effect of COVID-19 pandemic globally.

She averred that the flattening of the COVID-19 pandemic curve worldwide and the current realities encouraged the Agency to lend a hand towards global environment restoration efforts, noting that the theme for this year’s celebration is “Restore and Recover”.

While informing that tree planting is one of the cheapest nature-based climate action solutions, the General Manager disclosed that there will be ceremonial Tree Planting at designated locations which will be done by the Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hazmat as well as their wives.

She added that trees will also be planted simultaneously across all 57 Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas, Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Environmental Agencies of the State Government. 

The General Manager also confirmed that free tree seedlings will be distributed across all the LGAs and LCDAs in the State as well as to interested participants, private organisations, Non-Governmental Organisations, Community Development Associations and other volunteers groups.

To inculcate the habit of tree planting in school children, Popoola disclosed that the Agency has also designed a competition for school children, saying students from Lagos State Government schools between the ages of four and 12 will be required to create sculptures or any art form depicting their interpretation of the event theme “Restore and Recover”.

She mentioned that schools (in each of the educational districts) with the best entries will be rewarded with learning resources like electronic tablets, books and other educational materials, adding that mini botanical gardens will also be established in the winning schools to give students opportunities of direct contact with nature, develop their talents and encourage them to conduct ecological observations.

The General Manager affirmed that LASPARK’s vision for a greener and healthier Lagos will contribute in no small measure to achieving a Healthy and Sustainable Environment as captured in the policy thrust of the present administration, stressing that as the custodian of open spaces in Lagos, the Agency has brought into its fold more green partners to support and advance the greenery initiatives of the State Government. 

She emphasised that the alliance is considered as a key infrastructural support to the State government strides in creating a more sustainable and economically viable city through Public-Private Partnership, asserting that the Agency is still open to individual and private sector partnerships and collaborations to enable it achieve more set goals and objectives.