From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
As a part of efforts to mitigate the impacts of climate change in the State, the Kaduna State government said plans have been concluded to plant at least 20,000 trees this year.
Commissioner, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (MENR), Abubakar Buba stated this during a one-day technical review meeting on the draft climate change policy document for Kaduna State, supported by Save the Children International (SCI).
Represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Linda Yakubu, the commissioner said the commitment became necessary due to the impact of climate change in Kaduna communities.
According to him, “climate change crisis is real and its impacts are already being felt in our communities. So, this policy is poised to improve the sustainable future of Kaduna State.
“As a responsible and responsive government, we plan to plant a minimum of 20,000 seedlings in 2024.
“To discourage deforestation and encourage tree planting, we have our rangers and divisional forest officers spread across the 23 local councils to check tree felling activities. Some of the charcoal we see are not coming from Kaduna forests but from neighbouring states.
“Again,  the new policy trust now is that you must plant trees in all the structures that got approval depending on the structure in addition to the existing policy that every tree fell must have approval and inspection.
“So after the launch of the document, we will develop an implementation framework and then begin implementation”, Linda added.
Earlier, the Chairman, of the House Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, Usman Danlami, expressed the readiness of his colleagues in the assembly to give the document speedy attention when it gets to the House due to its importance to the State.
“To show that we are not against environmental sustainability in the state, some concerned citizens raised an issue of tree felling in the House of Assembly and we have put a stop to it immediately.
“These trees have been there for years. I learned that each of those trees has a file that contains the name of the planter and the purpose of planting them.
“So, it is not just okay to fell trees. Doing so will mean distorting history which cannot be reversed no matter how many you plant in place of those you fell.
“I therefore appreciate this event. We are grateful that Save the Children organised this programme again to discuss these very important documents.
“Adults bring children to life and I’m happy that children have been told to have their ears all open and be vigilant to all we are doing today.
“We are expecting these documents to come to the state assembly. I assure you it will get speedy attention of the honourable members of the house”, he promised.