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Salako Announces Ambitious Tree-Planting Campaign to Combat Climate Change

By Egbodo Queen

The Federal Government is set to launch a comprehensive tree-planting campaign involving 10,000 young adults and retirees, aimed at mitigating the impact of climate change.

This initiative, unveiled by Dr. Iziaq Salako, the State Minister for the Environment, will see the planting of six million trees nationwide.

In a recent exclusive interview with PUNCH Healthwise, Dr. Salako outlined the program’s multifaceted objectives. Not only will it address urgent environmental challenges such as desertification and deforestation, but it will also create employment opportunities for unemployed youth and offer financial benefits to retirees.

The tree-planting drive will be strategically implemented, focusing on regions heavily affected by desertification and deforestation.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), climate change poses significant threats to public health by jeopardizing access to clean air, safe drinking water, nutritious food, and secure living environments.

Alarmingly, WHO projections estimate that between 2030 and 2050, climate-related factors could lead to an additional 250,000 deaths annually from heat stress, malaria, diarrhea, and malnutrition.

The pervasive impact of climate change on air quality and overall environmental health underscores the urgency of proactive measures.

Dr. Salako emphasized the critical role of tree planting in combatting air pollution, absorbing greenhouse gases, and mitigating erosion, flooding, and land degradation.

The initiative will incorporate a diverse array of tree species suitable for Nigeria’s varied ecological zones, fostering agroforestry and promoting bamboo as an alternative tree resource.

Encouraging widespread participation, Dr. Salako urged all Nigerians to contribute by planting trees in their homes and communities, underscoring the importance of individual action in addressing climate change.

The minister affirmed that President Muhammadu Buhari has mandated the Ministry to plant a minimum of six million trees by 2024, a commitment that underscores the national priority of environmental sustainability.

To ensure the success of this ambitious endeavor, innovative technologies will be leveraged. Virtual training sessions will be conducted for youth participants, with subsequent tree-planting activities monitored through geo-location photos.

Dr. Salako highlighted the necessity for sustained care of planted trees, proposing that participants contribute a nominal monthly amount to support ongoing nurturing efforts.

Through collaborative efforts with governmental agencies, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations, the Federal Government aims to empower communities to actively engage in sustainable environmental stewardship.

The tree-planting campaign represents a pivotal step towards fostering a greener, healthier future for all Nigerians.

 

 

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