What Nigerians must do about deforestation

Mazino Dickson

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An ecologist, Mr Abdullahi Aremu, on Thursday urged government at all levels to sensitise traditional leaders, green guards and other relevant stakeholders to  the dangers of depleting the country’s forest resources.

Aremu, who is the Director-General, Advocacy for Environmental and Sanitation Integrity, an NGO, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

“Governments should intensify efforts to sensitise traditional leaders, green guards, the media and other relevant stakeholders on the dangers of depleting the nation’s forests resources.

“This sensitisation programme is very important because many people particularly rural dwellers have little or no knowledge of the effects of tree felling (the process of cutting down individual trees) on climate change,” he said.

Aremu, therefore, called for collaboration between traditional rulers and green guards to protect the country’s forest resources.

“Governments should engage traditional rulers to collaborate with green guards in the protection of the nation’s forests to curb deforestation.

“This is important because green guards allow rural dwellers involved in firewood and charcoal business to deplete forest resources,” Aremu said.

According to him, trees provide important services by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and producing oxygen for use by humans and other animals.

“When we clear forests, we hurt ourselves as a community both at regional and global levels. Therefore, I support every effort to stop deforestation at all levels,” he said.

The loss of trees and other vegetations can cause climate change, desertification, soil erosion, fewer crops, flooding, increased greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and a host of problems for indigenous people.