Forester to mark 70th birthday with tree planting




LAGOS – A former National President of the Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), Chief James Odebiyi, on Sunday said that he planned to plant  1,700 teak trees to mark his 70th birthday.

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Odebiyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the trees  would cover about 1.5 hectares of the Methodist High School, Ogbe in Abeokuta, Ogun State, being threatened by erosion from the Sokori River. The former Director of Forestry said that the “Sokori Eco-Renewal Project” would help in reducing ecological problems gradually creeping into the school compound.

“As a major event to mark my 70th birthday anniversary on july 31, I will be  planting about 1,700 trees in the degraded part of the Methodist High School, Ogbe.

“I have observed that if something urgent is not done, flood and erosion from the Sokori River will in no time pose a serious threat to the school buildings and the entire school compound.

“Today, the effects of climate change like the one being observed in this school premises are around us all.

“I have, therefore,  decided to use my 70th birthday to save this school from being taken over by flood and erosion from the Sokori River,’’ he said.

Odebiyi said that the initiative was to support the Ogun State Government’s forestry resources development, as well as promote sustainable environment.

The former FAN president said that the area to be planted, would in the near future serve as a good research site for students of agriculture and wildlife.

Odebiyi also urged governments at all levels, communities, private organisations and individuals, to urgently rededicate themselves to the planting of more trees in their communities.

The forester said that it was imperative for everyone to be involved in the planting of trees, as well as achieving sustainable environment.

“The time has come for us all to embrace the planting of trees in our compounds, streets and other deforested areas.

“We need to come up with these measures, to be able to reduce the effects of climate change in our communities,’’ he added. (NAN)

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