Prof. Shuaib Hassan, Director, Centre for Environmental Studies (CES), University of Abuja, has urged its students to plant trees on resumption to mitigate climate change and restore the ecosystem.
Hassan gave the advice on Saturday in Abuja during his address to mark the 2021 `World Environmental Day’ and sensitising students to the importance of planting trees to protect the environment.
He noted that trees and forests were critical parts to the solution to climate change and the biodiversity collapse faced by the world today.
He stressed that as individuals, we should do the needful to save the ecosystem.
The don said the event was aimed at mobilising, connecting and empowering the global community, using `green campus initiative’ to grow more trees.
He, therefore, called for collective supports from friends and partners to enable CES to accelerate nature based solution in support of United Nations decade in restoring the ecosystem from 2021 to 2030.
“ Land degradation impact not just on the economy but also on human health, thus, we must educate and inspire people to take positive actions.
“To do this, our centre library needs to be equipped.
“It is time to realise the potential of trees to help solve some environmental problems within our campus. That is why the CES initiated the green initiative by planting trees.
“Part of the plan is that, once the academic programme begins, every student resuming will come with his or her own tree to plant and nurture until he or she graduates,” he said.
Hassan, however, pleaded with the institution’s management to stop herders from moving with their cattle within the university to enable the trees planted to survive.
Meanwhile, Prof. Abdulrasheed Na’Allah, the Vice Chancellor, University of Abuja, corroborated Hassan’s statements.
He said there was need to restore the ecosystem as it was of great importance to save mankind and the environment.
Na’Allah, who was represented by Prof. Bassey Ubom of the department of Science and Environmental Education, thanked organisers of the event, saying it was timely.
He promised to give total support for tree planting within the university environment and stop the practice of herders moving with their cattle within the institution to save the planted trees.
“Today’s programme is timely. Most of our biodiversity will be extinct if nothing is done. We no more see most of the species we used to see around.
“If, For each tree that you cut, you plant ten trees, the issue of deforestation will be reduced and the issue of climate change may not be alarming in this part of the world, especially within the institution.
“The trees are wind breakers, catalysts to photosynthesis and then we have oxygen,” Na’Allah said.
On his part, Dr Jibrin Edicha, Head of Department, Geography and Environmental Management, said that ecosystem provided several services such as cultural, marine and lots more.
Edicha also explained that there was not enough infrastructure to enable it to deliver the services as they were taken away, thereby endangering the services it was to provide.
He advocated for serious penalty for anyone who cut trees, saying every tree grown by an individual became public property.
Speaking, Dr Halilu Shaba, Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), said the importance of the ecosystem could not be overemphasised adding that every tree felled was oxygen lost.
Shaba encouraged the students to leave a legacy that would be remembered by planting trees that would improve the environment.
Meanwhile, Dr Efegbidiki Okobia, the Chief Executive Officer of Lympson Leosentino Limited, noted that the challenge of the ecosystem was man.
“If we don’t put plans to ensure the ecosystem restoration takes place in the next ten years, the planet earth will not be comfortable for man to live in.
“ People should think of what they can contribute to impact positively to the ecosystem within their environment,’’ Okobia added.
David Terungwa, Director, Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIEFSP), called for more awareness among Nigerians.
He maintained that environmental actions were not for government alone.
Terungwa urged the students to plant a tree in their various homes as contributions to restoring the ecosystem.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mango and Orange trees were planted within the institution by the vice chancellor, other dignitaries and students.
The United Nations set June 5 to celebrate World Environmental Day to create awareness and action for protection of the environment. (NAN)