The Lagos State Government has dedicated this year’s Tree Planting Day to frontline health workers for their efforts at fighting the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said this on Tuesday during the Lagos State Annual Tree Planting Day at the Infectious Disease Hospital (IDH), Yaba.
He said that the theme for this year’s Lagos State Tree Planting Day was ”Trees for life”, dedicated specially to the heroes on the frontline of the Coronavirus pandemic response.
”That is why we are here, at the Mainland Hospital in Yaba, the epicentre of our fight against the pandemic.
“This year’s edition of the Tree Planting Day is in honour of our frontline medical personnel, who toil, day after day, in the most challenging circumstances imaginable on behalf of the rest of us.
”We can draw parallels between the protective role trees play in the environment, and the roles of our health workers in protecting us from diseases and pandemics.
”It is therefore fitting that we are planting trees today to celebrate and support our health workers.
”And just as these trees will long outlive us, the heroic feats and sacrifices of our frontline health workers will also never be forgotten, even long after the pandemic is behind us,” he said.
The governor said that in the mist of the challenges of COVID-19, one could not afford to ignore the existing problems and issues that predated the pandemic.
According to him, COVID-19 cannot become an excuse for taking attention away from other issues such as climate change and environmental sustainability.
He said that Lagos had seen its own fair share of climate change as a coastal city which remained at the mercy of rising sea levels.
”As Africa’s most populated city, we have seen how demographic pressures have stripped the landscape of significant amounts of its forest cover.
”We are not immune from global warming and the various other climatic challenges experienced around the world. As a city, as a government, we have a duty and a responsibility to respond swiftly and comprehensively,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that nations of the world were in the final decade of the push for the attainment of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations.
The governor said that Goal 13 of the SDGs challenged all to ”Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts”.
He added that Goal 15 sought to ”Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity.”
According to him, these two goals encapsulate the responsibility to take climate change seriously, and to do everything necessary to tackle it.
”Lagos State will continue to be at the forefront of sustainable climate action in Nigeria and Africa,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He commended LASPARK and urged it to continue to sensitise Lagosians about the importance of Tree Planting, and the necessity of caring for the environment.
”We do not have a back-up planet, so we must treat the Earth with respect and dignity.
”The trees we are about to plant today must be nurtured to grow and thrive, and contribute their part to protecting and safeguarding the environment,”he said.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
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