The Oyo State government on Tuesday said it was partnering secondary school students as critical stakeholders to mitigate forest challenges in the state.
The state Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Abiodun Oni, made this known at the conference hall of Federal College of Forestry, Jericho, Ibadan in commemoration of the 2023 International Day of Forest, with the theme, “Healthy Forests for Healthy People”.
It was organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in conjunction with the Federal College of Forestry, Ibadan.
Oni explained that the step became imperative due to the students’ ability to influence their parents and community.
He said, “In view of the need to catch them youth and their ability to influence parents and community, the ministry partnered with students in the secondary schools, where five secondary schools were selected from Ibadan and two each from Oyo, Ogbomoso, Oke Ogun 1, Oke Ogun II and Ibarapa.
“Among the selected secondary schools for the clean and green initiatives project, 831 tree seedlings were distributed for planting at the school premises. The programme offered the students the opportunity for practical knowledge on the production of tree seedlings, planting out, and subsequent silvicultural management.”
In his speech, the acting Director, Technical Programmes of the foundation, Adedayo Memudu, advised Nigerians to plant trees against deforestation and curb the effects of climate change on the environment to save humanity.
He also urged them to consider the forest around them as an endowment and strive to maintain it for humanity.
Also speaking, the Provost of the college, Funmi Aderonmu, urged Nigerians to maintain a clean and green environment.
She said, “When our forest is healthy, that is when we can have a healthy living. When we destroy our forest, it means we are destroying ourselves.
“So, we should make sure we have a green environment, and green plants around us because it’s the green plant that supplies the oxygen we are breathing to live and when we don’t have green plants around us again, then survival is threatened.”