Tuesday, 7 June 2022

WED: C’River Gov’t Distributes 72,000 Tree Seedlings To LGAs

Daniel Bebia |7th June 2023

As part of activities to mark the 2022 World Environment Day, the Cross River Government through the Ministry of Environment has distributed Seventy Two Thousand tree seedlings to the 18 Local Government Councils of the State.

Speaking during the distribution exercise, the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Mfon Bassey said the event was expedient, given the State Government's policy of planting at least Five million trees every year, while urging residents of the State to take responsibility for the protection and improvement of the environment for sustainable and harmonious coexistence with nature.

The Environment Commissioner, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Aye Henshaw, said in conformity with the present administration's policy thrust on Environment for Sustainable Development, the government is embarking on various programmes which include: Flood and Erosion Control, Urban Sanitation and Renewal, Environmental Quality Control, Urban Beautification, Environmental Impact Reduction through Tourism, among others to curb environmental degradation.

Speaking further, the Commissioner admonished residents to take stock of activities in their immediate environment, as what goes around comes around, adding that we must take responsibility to protect and improve the environment for present and future generations.

He called on city dwellers, academics, farmers, captains of industries, loggers, rural dwellers, industries hunters and cattle rearers to imbibe eco-friendly practices like tree planting, integration of environmental issues in school curricula, adoption f mechanized agriculture, use of modern equipment which emit fewer waste gases, replanting of ten new trees for every logged one, avoid bush burning, as well as reduce reliance on wood as a domestic fuel for the benefits of our environment.

In a goodwill message, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change, represented by Mr Joseph Agim, Director Planning Research and Statistics commended the Government for organizing the event. He said the day provided an opportunity for environment stakeholders to collectively brainstorm, define and redefine pathways to help in the mitigation and adaptation of climate and environmental changes and their impacts on the State.

Expressing confidence that the event will trigger a compelling need to consider a quick recalibration, realignment and harmonization of existing development policies, Mr Agim said plans and interventions where necessary to ensure achievement of resilience and adaptation to Climate/Environmental changes. 

The Climate Change Permanent Secretary further stated that the State is aware that the dynamics of the Climate and Environment are traceable to human and natural factors, hence, the need for every human effort towards mitigating the attendant impacts of these phenomena to be encouraged and supported for the collective benefits of all.

Highlighting the importance of sustainable forest management the Director of Forestry in the State Forestry Commission, Dr Ita Ekpeyong enjoined citizens to dissuade from activities that are hazardous to the environment such as Bush burning, water poisoning and other harmful practices.

He encouraged residents to be campaigners for tree planting by throwing seeds of used fruits on open spaces to ensure the growth of trees at all points.

In her remarks, the State Coordinator, Earth Environmental and Climate Care Ambassadors (ECCA), Ambassador Joy Oden Ikpi advised that citizens should not depend solely on Government for tree planting but should be partakers in the act of planting which ensures a sustainable living environment.

In his suggestion, a corps member, Mr Emmanuel Ifeanyi harped on the need to inculcate the importance of tree planting in the school curriculum if we must catch them young. He also stated that the Ministry of Education as a critical stakeholder should at all times be part of the meeting.

Receiving the tree seedlings for onwards distribution to the Local Government Councils, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Hon. Stella Odey-Ekpo, represented by the Director of Administration of the Ministry, Barr. Leonard Egede expressed gratitude to the State Government for the gesture which to him will go a long way to improving green cover across the eighteen Local Government Councils of the State.

Hon. Odey-Ekpo promised that modalities for distribution would be planned as soon as possible, adding that the message of also ensuring the protection of the trees after planting will be stepped down.

High points of the event were; the distribution of tree seedlings to Local Government Councils and tree planting at designated locations led by the commissioner for Environment of Environment.

Pictures from the event: