Tree Planting Exercise To Inspire Environmental Awareness
Poor levels of public support and engagement in the conservation of natural resources are frequently caused by poor understanding and sensitization of the benefits of land restoration, low resource regulation, among others. Trees are the lungs of the earth. As they provide oxygen for humans. They take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, both of which are vital for human activities.
Tree planting offers many environmental benefits, some of which include; They absorb pollutant gases, odors and act as a filter as little particulates get trapped in leaves; Trees reduce the risk of erosion by storing water and breaking the force of rain as it falls; Trees also absorb sound and reduce noise pollution; they contribute to boosting biodiversity as they become a food source and natural habitat for wildlife and trees provide natural cooling effects.
While some indirect economic benefits of trees are that they help to reduce energy consumption, which in turn influences demands placed on the infrastructure of utility companies, thus directly influencing costs of products for consumers.
Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency states that a mature acre of trees can yearly provide oxygen for 18 people. This implies that Mature trees can absorb roughly 48 pounds of CO2 a year and release enough oxygen to sustain human beings.
In celebration of the 2023 Bacardi founders’ day, the organization in partnership with HACEY Nigeria planted over 300 trees in Lagos state.
The trees were planted across a 4-kilometer land, with a spacing of 10 meters in between each plant along Epe ijebu-ode expressway. Community members accepted to plant these trees in front of their plots and on their lands to support the vision of promoting a greener community.
The species of trees planted were the Masquerade tree and the Ficus Shrub. The Masquerade trees are known as the lofty evergreen trees, commonly planted due to its effectiveness in alleviating noise pollution. The tree is known to grow over 30 feet in height and if allowed to grow naturally (without trimming the branches out for decorative reasons) grows into a normal large tree with plenty of shade. On the other hand, the ficus shrub trees may look like basic plants with narrow and droopy glossy green leaves, but they are tropical specimens that improve the quality of air. They are popular houseplants, effective in purifying air indoor.
Staff members of Bacardi, community leaders, community members, youth leaders and community youth-based organizations hosted the tree planting exercise. The organizations implemented the environmental and educational impact project in Epe Local Government area of Lagos state with the aim to save the planet.
With the tree planting exercise, the annual Carbon Sequestration Capacity of the trees planted varies. In one year, the Masquerade tree will offset likewise the Ficus shrub. At 0 – 5 years old the masquerade tree will offset 5, 183 kg (5.1 tonne) C02 equivalent. While the ficus tree in the same period will offset 80kg (0.08 tonne). In one year, the 200 Masquerade trees planted will offset 2, 073, 400 kg (2073 tonne) C02 equivalent, while the 100 Ficus trees planted in the same period will offset 16, 700 Kg C02 (16.7 tonne) equivalent.
The community representative, Hon. Azeez applauded the initiative, adding that the project will inspire the community to care for and protect the environment.
He further stated that the tree planting exercise has given the community an opportunity to participate in the greener Lagos campaign while pledging support on behalf of the community to take care of the plants and ensure they serve the purpose for which they were planted.
Meanwhile, a community member, Ademola Abass said the tree planting program has given him the opportunity to plant beside his stall, and that it would give shed and fresh air whenever he is working.
In all 32 communities’ volunteers were trained, over 200 households were engaged and 6000 liters of water were provided for watering and preservation of the trees planted in day 1, and site clearance was carried out for the plants.