Government Initiative: Minister to Engage 10,000 Youths, Retirees in Tree Planting Program

Government Initiative: Minister to Engage 10,000 Youths, Retirees
Minister of State for Environment and Ecological Management, Dr Iziaq Salako.

Government Initiative: Minister to Engage 10,000 Youths, Retirees in Tree Planting Program

The Federal Government of Nigeria has unveiled a plan to engage 10,000 youths and retirees in planting six million trees across the country as part of efforts to combat climate change and address environmental degradation. Dr Iziaq Salako, the Minister of State for Environment and Ecological Management, revealed this initiative in an exclusive interview with PUNCH Healthwise.

The program aims to create employment opportunities for unemployed youths and retirees while simultaneously addressing environmental challenges. It will be implemented in phases, focusing initially on areas affected by deforestation and desertification.

Climate change, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), poses significant threats to human health and well-being, impacting factors such as clean air, safe drinking water, food security, and shelter. The WHO predicts that climate change-related factors could lead to approximately 250,000 additional deaths annually by 2030-2050.

To mitigate these effects, the Nigerian government plans to plant six million trees, which will help absorb greenhouse gases, improve air quality, and combat land degradation, flooding, and erosion. The initiative will involve planting a variety of tree species suitable for Nigeria’s different ecological zones, including indigenous and exotic varieties, and promote agroforestry and bamboo cultivation as alternatives to traditional tree planting.

Salako emphasized the importance of public participation, urging all Nigerians to support the program by planting trees in their homes and communities. The government intends to leverage technology for effective monitoring and evaluation of the program’s impact and plans to provide training and support to participants, including virtual training sessions and monthly stipends for tree planting and maintenance activities.

Overall, the initiative aims to create between 5,000 to 10,000 jobs annually, contributing to environmental sustainability and economic development in Nigeria.

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