June 25, 2024

Central News

at the center of it

Archbishop Kaigama orders parishes, others to plant trees

Archbishop Kaigama leading in the tree-planting campaign.

Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Ignatius Kaigama, has directed Catholic parishes and institutions of archdiocesan area to plant no fewer than 10 trees each, to conserve and protect the environment.

The top cleric gave the directive at the inauguration of a ree-planting/growing campaign organised by the Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Abuja Archdiocese on Friday.

Kaigama said the environment had been kind to humans, providing food, air among others hence the need to preserve it.

The only way to be grateful is to be able to take care of the environment as clearly canvassed by the Holy Father, Pope Francis, the archbishop observed.

He said that the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) had mandated that everyone should be involved in tree planting: CBCN has stipulated that every diocese plants at least 20,000 trees.

The archbishop said that the Abuja archdiocese can surpass the minimum target of 20,000 trees saying that the archdiocese had many churches, schools and hospitals.

“We have many schools, we have hospitals, we have out stations, not just the parishes; if all the other stations will only plant five trees each, we have huge numbers to match our assigned target,” he said.

“So we hope that everybody at least for now, start with planting 10 trees for all the chaplaincy and the pastoral areas, should plant at least 10 tress; you can plant more but do not go below 10.”

He then blessed and planted trees to show Nigerians to follow said that, like the gospel, the message of tree-planting will continue to be spread until it becomes a lifestyle.

Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment Mr. Yussuf Idris said that trees were the “lungs” of the earth, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to people.

“We are all aware of the current high rate of deforestation in our country. Nigeria’s forest resources are being depleted at between 3.7 per cent to 4 per cent annually making it one of the highest in the world and resulting in climate change, flooding, soil degradation, and biodiversity loss among others,” he lamented.

He called on corporate organisations and individuals to complement government’s effort in restoring the fast-degrading environment through planting trees.

In his remarks, Josephat Abaagu, Abuja-JDPC chairman, said that protecting the earth was crucial because it sustains all life, provides resources and a stable environment.

He said that tree planting was a way to protect the earth and plays a major role in combating climate change.

Also, project director, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAfOD), Mr. Edozie Abazie, said that tree planting mitigates the effect of climate change.

According to him, planting of trees is one of the most important things that can be done to protect the environment

“We must take an intentional decision to protect our environment by putting an end to tree felling and to go beyond the target directed by the bishops to plant more trees,” he said.

He said that CAfOD is in partnership with JDPC to produce solar powered machines called brickwet that would produce charcoal from biomass for domestic energy production as against tree felling.