By Cleopatra Eki
British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Ben Llewellyn-Jones has appealed to all stakeholders to intentionally collaborate together and care for the earth by reducing climate change.
He made the call in 2023 Commonwealth Day held in LUFASI Nature Lekki Lagos.
“We should constantly work for sustainable earth, cities and communities and ensure collaborations with professionals across diverse sectors.
The event attracted environmental stakeholders, FABE lnternational Foundation, Refine Schools Lekki, Adewusi Memorial School, lkoyi, Olomu community Junior school and Olomu community Senior School, Ajah Lagos.The Schools had Debate on environmental sustainability, exhibition on recycling and waste conversions to valuable products.
He disclosed that the UK government has been doing a lot to mitigate climate change in Nigeria through Agricultural innovation, flood and water control management, infrastructural support and upscaling businesses affected by climate change.
“We learn from Nigeria and they also learn from us (knowledge -shared) through Agricultural innovation by providing seeds and plants that could survive adverse conditions and yield more produces to feed the population in trying times. The relationship between Nigeria and UK has been a symbolitic one.
Weather technology is another area we have worked with Nigeria and others in areas of conservation and deforestation, desertification and climate change.”When you cut a tree, it takes 10-20years to grow a tree, so don’t cut down one , we need oxygen for life -support ” Tree plantings reduce erosion, mitigate climate impacts and increase awareness of the importance of nature-based solutions to climate change.
British High commission has supported and planted over 5,000 trees in both Abuja and Lagos Nigeria.
We are here today to celebrate with LUFASI Nature Park for spending 25years of planting the right trees and keeping right plants, maintain mangroves, wetlands, animals to reduce climate change and global warming. Today,”l am here in Nigeria on a sunny day and when it rains we feel the effects of climate however, spending time with nature is very therapeutic and healing.”
As for their new plan for Nigeria on technology,UK has been offering Nigeria ways to lower it’s emissions by providing efficient and state -of -arts methods to reduce environmental hazards.
The significant part of the event includes planting a tree plant in memory of the British Monarch, late Queen Elizabeth at the LUFASI Nature park. The British Deputy High Commissioner,Mr Ben Llewellyn-Jones and wife also released of two owls (birds )to the wild, these birds were rescued from their predators and caged cared and for over 5months at the park.
Speaking Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, Chairman, Lagos State Urban Forest and Animal Shelter Initiative (LUFASI) appealed to governments who have access to funds or resources from foreign governments to take care of the environment and climate change.
He advised that such funds should be used judiciously for the environmental programmes and other related purpose that they were meant not diverted.
He also talked about the Nigerian hybrid breed and home grown Palm fruits, which he planted 25years ago at the LUFASI Nature park, that have yielded a lot produces over the years.
He disclosed that some foreign agriculturists came from Malaysia,lndonisia and Singapore to Nigeria to learn about the palm fruits and later cultivate them in these countries, currently these palm fruits are doing excellently well. “This is the one of the best exports from Nigeria.”
Majekodunmi also added 2023 Common-wealth Day is essential for young persons and to be taught collectively on how to manage the (mother earth) nature in their various spaces, because it has catered for our parents and many generations, like our mothers took care of us as children. “If we don’t care of the earth we will get the reparcaution.” As for children, it is necessary to catch them young, they are the future generations and will inherit the earth,so they should be taught more ways to protect the planet, fight climate change and make the world a better place.
The Chairman LUFASI led the students and participants to forest full of trees, green vegetations and to forest bathing space.
He told them of the Shinrin-Yoku- forest bathing which originated from Japan since the 1980s translated as nature bathing. “We have reciprociated forest bathing space here in LUFASI Nature Park “. Ekki trees and forests give oxygen that purify the body systems,”.
Majekodunmi talked about the importance of the hooded vultures, pangolins that regulate the ecosystem.
Speaking Mr Victory Ashaka Environmental poet and nature Ambassador, said that man has continuously mismanage the nature (Earth).”Every one should care for their different spaces on the earth and for future generations.”
He advised participants to continuously pick up pet bottles, plastics from their environment and for recycling, safe the earth through recycling and climate action.
Ashaka added that This programme also enlighten people about caring for nature, protect the earth against climate change, flood and global warming.
In his conclusion, “Government should create stringent laws and regulations boost the environmental sustainability and climate action”.People should do the regular enivornmental sanitation.
Speaking to Precious Solomon,winner of the junior school debate and student of Olomu Community Junior school Ajah Lagos said “We were charged as ambassadors to teach others in our schools and communities to cater for our spaces and homes”
Solomon disclosed that: “It was an interesting and mind-blowing experience at the debate session and interacting with other students from different schools.
“I had a wonderful experience talking and taking pictures with British Deputy High Commissioner,Chairman, LUFASI, founder and others-” she exclaimed.