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EDITORIAL

Plant More Trees, Save The Earth​

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Initially, the word ‘Green’ sounded so foreign and distant, something that could only materialise across the seas. However, it has always been here mostly ignored. The reality is here; we ought to understand that the earth belongs to all of us and, therefore, we must do something about it.

Climate change is happening around us. The early rains in February and March, the sudden harmattan haze and dust in March and April are proof. It is time to start asking what can be done to save the planet, especially when it comes to planting more trees, an obvious challenge in Nigeria, as so many trees are lost to the chain saw of lumberjacks.

The scorching sun and dusty atmosphere in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) is a reminder of how important it is to plant trees and preserve the forests across the states. The master plan is to make one fifth of Abuja green, but how much green can anyone boast of presently in the entire country and FCT?

It is called climate change because the planet is changing due to the many civilised activities going on around it. There is nothing wrong in development and nature is a huge part of development. Trees are far more important than is believed as they shelter not just the population, but mother earth from degradation. The benefits of trees can be grouped into social, communal, environmental and economic categories.

What has happened to the initiative that is supposed to provide for the development of plant nurseries to carter for the replenishment of dead trees? There will come a time when the society cannot afford to look down on people who would, rather than drive a car which releases so much carbon monoxide in the air, ride a bicycle or spend so much money on energy bulbs, or even smirk at those we think are crazy just because they tie themselves to a tree to protect it from being chopped down so that construction of more buildings, more roads can take place all in the name of development.

The government ought to implement and enforce the law on green spaces where nature is allowed to expand. Nigeria is still struggling with this important topic. The Abuja Green Society launched the 2011 tree planting campaign, imploring Nigerians to consider the environment. The government needs to sponsor more educational clubs for children to spur the nation in the fight against global warming and climate change.

In the far North, there is the imminent threat of desertification. Enlightenment campaigns can stop this. Educating people to understand that trees absorb the carbon dioxide generated in the environment and keep the environment cool. More campaign awareness, enforcing laws that protecting trees and planting more draught resistant plants are the way to go.

When trees are planted, they provide a more natural and less artificial environment. Birds and other wildlife are attracted to the area. The natural cycles of plant growth, reproduction and decomposition are again present. Both above and below ground, natural harmony is restored.  Trees make life more pleasant as it makes us feel serene, peaceful, restful and tranquil. Going green is fast becoming fashionable all around the world. The Western World is a good example in the promotion of Green. They already invest in bio- gradable shopping bags and cups that disappear in crumbles on their own and back into the earth.

The benefits of trees are enormous. The Tree Care Information believes that trees alter the environment by moderating climate, improving air quality, conserving water and harbouring wildlife. Climate control is obtained by moderating the effects of the sun, wind and rain. Radiant energy from the sun is absorbed or deflected by leaves on deciduous trees in summer. In our opinion, planting trees in the cities help moderate the heat island effect causes by pavement and buildings in commercial areas. Air quality can also be improved through planting of trees. It is an incontrovertible fact that tree leaves filter the air by removing dust and other particles. As the rain washes the pollutants to the ground, leaves absorb carbon dioxide from the air to form carbohydrates that are used in the plant’s structure and function. In this process, leaves also absorb air pollutants such as ozone, carbon monoxide and sulphur dioxide and give off oxygen.

In 2016, Delta State, in partnership with World Bank, planted about 50,000 trees across the state to fight deforestation and global warming. We suggest that other states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, should take a cue from this initiative to preserve the earth by planting more trees.

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