The Lagos State Government will establish “Mini Forest” in selected 6 secondary schools within Lagos Metropolis.
To be executed by the State Ministry of Agriculture, the establishment of the Mini Forests is one of the ways that government has decided to reward students from the affected schools who excelled in last “International Day of Forests Essay Competition” organised by the ministry with supports from the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF.
The 6 students are Esther Awose, Sewanu, Marvelous Adebola, Destiny Obafemi, Josephine and Jawakalitu Odusanya of Oriwu Senior Model College, Ikorodu that emerged as the overall winner.
Presenting certificates and plaques to the winners, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms. Abisola Olusanya lauded them for taking the competition serious, thereby explaining their brilliant performance.
The event event which was held to celebrate this year’s International Day of Forests took place at the Ministry’s office in Alausa, Ikeja
While also commending their teachers and schools management for finding the competition worthy and supporting their students to participate, Ms. Olusanya explained that it’s aim was to “raise awareness of school children to the need to be conscious of their environment and to imbibe the culture of conservation.
“Eighteen entries were received from 13 schools across the 6 Education Districts out of which 6 emerged winners. To encourage and motivate the winners, the Ministry will establish a Mini Forest in their schools with selected trees”, Olusanya said.
The Commissioner reiterated on the need for Lagos residents to ” guard against indiscriminate destruction of our forests as they are crucial to mitigating climate change and contributing to current and future generations’ stability and well-being. It is on this premise that we will be involving you, students, the future generation, henceforth, in the celebration of the International Day of Forests”.
“The World Forestry Day was created at the European Confederation of Agriculture’s 22rd General Assembly. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation decided it would be commemorated annually on March 21st starting from 2013.
“The theme of this year International Forests Day: Forests and Sustainable Production and Consumption is a pointer to the relationship between life on earth and forests. The water we drink , the medicines we take, the food we eat and enjoy, the shelter we have and even the oxygen we breathe, all have an association with forests.
“This implies that we can no longer afford to take the issues of deforestation, arbitrary removal of vegetation, illegal tree felling emission of toxic substances to the environment and every other form of actions that endanger the ecosystem with levity.
“We must map out strategies to mitigate the effect of our activities on the environment and maintain sustainable forest preservation viz a viz production in line with the Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) 11,12 and 13.
“Vulnerable habitats like Lagos which has a population estimated to be over 22 Million will undoubtedly face tremendous pressure exerted on the natural vegetation, especially in the area of housing and urbanisation, so there is need to embrace a conservatory approach to ameliorate the incidence of climate change”.
High point of the occasion was ceremonial planting of trees by the Commissioner; some top officials of the Ministry and coordinator Green Recovery Nigeria project of NCF, Folake Salawu.
NCF had donated 2000 indigenous tree seedlings to the Lagos State Government to support the government in it’s tree planting campaign.