The Federal Government of Nigeria has selected Osun State as its destination for the celebration of the 2021 World Environment Day, on the basis of the state’s performance in ecosystem restoration drive.
The Federal Minister for Environment, Dr. Muhammed Mahmud Abubakar, disclosed this on Friday when he led a delegation from the Federal Ministry of Environment on a courtesy call on Governor Adegboyega Oyetola.
Dr. Abubakar said it would be the first time the ministry would be celebrating the event outside of Abuja.
“This is so important because one single thing that we can do in the fight against climate change is afforestation and reforestation; and that is why the theme for this year is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
“Osun State is doing well in this area already, and I think it is apt for us to collaborate and celebrate outside of Abuja, and with a state government’ he said.
He commended the governor for taking up the fight against climate change and planning to plant four hectares of forest, which he said would go a long way in solving the problem.
He also disclosed the plans of the ministry to plant 25 million trees annually as part of measures to fight climate change, adding that “we cannot achieve this without the support of state governments, and Osun is already taking the lead in this regard.”
In his remarks, Governor Oyetola expressed delight in the choice of the federal government’s celebration of the 2021 World Environment Day in Osun, adding that a good environment is critical to healthy living among citizens.
Oyetola said: “Environment is particularly an important aspect of life. If you have a good environment, there is the possibility that your health is as good as secured. If you have a polluted environment, the reverse will be the case.
“We in Osun have made efforts to ensure that we have a good environment, but there are lots of challenges. Apart from the illegal felling of trees, we have a threat to the environment through artisanal mining. The level of damage to our environment is so huge.
“As we speak, we have the pollution of the Osun River, which is a major river here. The Kajola and Ilesha water works we are trying to put together are being threatened by the pollution of the Osun River.
“This is a problem in our environment and the degradation is so huge. Perhaps, at the appropriate time, we will be speaking with the minister to see how best we can be assisted in that area.
“I’m happy we have keyed into the issue of planting trees, and we are going to be doing that tomorrow on a fairly large scale. We believe that our partnership will make the environment more secure for our people to live in.”