Tertiary Institutions across Nigeria were charged in the ongoing COP26 to key into planting of trees as a mitigation to tackle climate change.
This was recommended in the Climate Action Edition 2021 journal of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which is a global initiative of the United Nations.
The author, immediate former Vice-Chancellor of Osun State University, Professor Laboode Popoola who is a Director, Sustainable Development Solutions Network Nigeria in the document noted that the program has been impactful in UNIOSUN.
In the document, it was stated that Nigeria has about 170 universities, 60 polytechnic, and 152 colleges. “The impact of replicating this approach to greening our landscape in Nigeria and elsewhere can only be imagined. It is cost-effective, reliable, sustainable, and no negative impacts are envisaged.”
In the recommendation titled: ‘National goals via local action’ the Professor of Forest Economics and Sustainable Development, and Director of Sustainable Development Solutions Network Nigeria revealed that sizable, impactful climate action can also be achieved through small, coordinated actions by individuals.
“Students at Osun State University, Nigeria, are learning to make their own contribution to combating climate change in a program that can be replicated across the education system.
This practice has been widely promoted at Osun State University, Nigeria, where newly enrolled students were guided in planting tree seedlings — each seedling is nurtured by the students until they leave the institution.
Prof Popoola affirmed that the program has the potential to help in achieving the key strategies and recommendations of the Department of Climate Change (DCC) of the Federal Ministry of Environment in Nigeria.
“There are myriad mitigation and adaptation approaches aimed at addressing changing climate scenarios. One that has proved to be cost-effective and workable is afforestation and reforestation”.
The professor disclosed that trees serve as major carbon sinks and thus help to improve air quality while at the same time greening the environment.
One of the key goals of this approach is for young people to understand and embrace carbon offset initiatives while in university and even after they graduate.