Mitigate Climate Change By Planting Trees, Experts tell Anambra Famers


Mitigate Climate Change By Planting Trees, Experts  tell Anambra Famers

By Nkiru Nwagbo.

Environmental experts have recommended intentional tree planting as one of the major ways to mitigate climate change in Nigeria. 

They stated this  in Ebenebe, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra state when a non-governmental organization, Green Environment and Climate Change Initiative, ( GECCI )took the campaign for Building Climate Resilience in agrarian communities to those in the rural Communities of the  state.

Our correspondent reports that the event which was organized in partnership with the Forestry and Wildlife Department,  Anambra state Ministry of Environment  was supported by the Nigeria Climate Justice Alliance, ( NCJA), and the  Nigeria Conservation Foundation , (NCF). 

Climate change is one of the prevailing environmental problems in the world that has gained universal discussion in recent time because of its multiple effects.

These effects have also metamorphosed into some impacts such as the decline in agricultural activities, drought, migration, health problems, crises among farmers and herds - men, flooding, erosion, hunger and poverty among others. 

This according to Doctor  Oluropo Apalowo, the Program Officer of  the Green Environment and Climate Change Initiative, GECCI  prompted them to take the campaign to the rural communities with the aim of ensuring that the effects does not consume local farmers who have been responsible for food security in Nigeria. 

Doctor Apalowo who noted that Ebenebe was still among the communities that have forest reserves in Anambra state,  said the idea was to teach the farmers new innovations that would help the farmers to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change on their agricultural produce. 

According to him, the Non-Governmental Organization had embarked on series of programs on climate change including educating secondary school students and undergraduates of Tertiary Institutions on how to be friendly to the environment by planting trees as well as taking the message to rural farmers in various communities. 

The Director, Forestry and Wildlife Department , Anambra state Ministry of Environment, Doctor Onyinye Achugamuonye  called on the people to imbibe Climate resilience which  is the ability  to anticipate, prepare, respond and recover from the adverse effect of climate change. 

She noted that the effects of climate change on agrarian community are diverse and multifaceted which include, Shift in growing seasons, Water scarcity, Increased temperatures, Extreme weather events, Pest and diseases, Crop yield variability, Livelihood challenges, Loss of biodiversity, Adaptation costs as well as Social and cultural impacts. 

According to the environmental expert, the climate resilience challenges could be approached through Building adaptive capacity, Implementing sustainable practices, Fostering community engagement to mitigate the effects of climate change, Policy development and Ecosystem protection by both the people and government. 

Another expert and , forest officer incharge of Awka Zone, Mr Innocent Eze, posited that tree planting is key to checkmating climate issues as it controls erosion and provides shelter as well as resilience to other dangers. 

Mr Eze who admitted that there were still few existing forest reserves in the state however regretted that successive governments have not really given proper attention to developing more reserves rather they continue to embark on selling known ones for reasons unrelated to the original ideas.  

"we are trying our best to conserve the forest but politicians are not making it easy for us because most of the lands have been sold out. For example, Mamu forest reserve, they are still selling the land, clearing the trees and a lot of letters have been written to the government to know whether they will stop but its still going on’’. 

For his part, a lecturer at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and Director Bamboo institute, Doctor John Ogbodo noted that the impact of climate change have been enormous including poor yield of agricultural productivity, flooding and outbreaks both to the human and crops hence the imperative need for concerted effort to mitigate it. 

Doctor Ogbodo therefore motivated the people to form environmental committees relating it to agro forestry, so that they can carry out some environmental activities such as tree planting, practicing of agro forestry, cultivation of crops in their climate smart way using minimal soil, and by doing composite manure at their backyard before taking it to the farm.

A farmer , Mrs Edit Obiora appreciate GEECI, for taking time to educate them on how to mitigate climate change but however called on government to provide them with soft loans to enable them apply the experiences garnered from the experts. 

She observed that there have been obvious changes on crop yields in some seasons showing that the feared impact was already affecting local farmers irrespective of location.

Two Community leaders in Ebenebe, Mr Christian Obiora and Chief Cletus Ajuorah could not agree less that cutting of trees was one of the practices that needed to be discouraged if the farmers must avert the subject of discussion and enjoy a healthier environment.


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