March 21st was international forest day, a day to celebrate and pledge to protect our rain-forests.

Forests are not just beautiful but are vital to our plant’s survival.

Rain-forest is home to many animals and plants, but many animals, plants and insects are dying due to the deforestation of the rain forest.

Rain-forest is one of the best Eco-systems and most of oxygen is produced by the rain-forest. And in commemorating this day a flurry of activities were put in place to sensitize the youth in particular, on the dangers posed by deforestation.

Leading the vanguard of youths are the duo of Jennifer Uchendu of Susty Vibes and Olumide Idowu of Climate Wednesday. Speaking on a radio programme, (Nigeria Info 99.3fm Lagos) Green Hour, the young activists made a clarion call to youths across the country to cue in the train of tree planting and preservation of the environment.

According to Jennifer. “People don’t understand the science of climate change. People don’t realize that, the more we cut down the trees, the more we risk our lives to climate change issues. They are natural habitats that help us fight climate change and the disasters that come with it. Greenery is not just for beautification and aesthetics. Where you have trees in the hospitals for instance, you find that people get well quickly”.

In ascertaining the danger that lies ahead if the environment is continuously degraded, the young activists said the dangers could be more catastrophic than we can imagine.

“Scientists haven’t even found the extent of the dangers that lies ahead in climate change. We see late harmattan, late rainfall, blue Sky, sea levels are rising and so on. These are just little signs of what is to come. Things are not the same again. You just throw plastic into the drains, you don’t know the cycle of obstruction it can cause, there is traffic here and there.”

Urging the people to embrace forest conservation, Olamide said that the Architects and Town Planners have a huge role to play. “The Architects are more like making money without thinking of the environmental impact. Their act actually makes the environment much congested. Sometime I ask, do we actually think about what happens to other people, as far as the environment is concerned? You can’t preach something and you are not seen practicing it. I practice what I preach. If you want to have a conducive environment the time to start is now. We need to make people understand that our survival depends on the forest”.

Drumming awareness may not be getting down to the target audience, due to so many encumberances including economic challenges. To this Jennifer said, “Initially people are not so sincere. Sometime they ask, What are you actually saying?, when we are looking for what to eat. But climate change is now becoming a global issue. Everyone now knows that environmental issue is not just about planting trees. They now know that there is a lot to it. They now know that littering the environment can cause flooding. It is more of education and social awareness”.

Advancing the point, Olumide highlighted those things we can look out for when talking about climate change. “When we look at the indicator, talk about the mindset, a lot of people know all these things, excepts that the economy will not allow them. Trust is the other. For example some promises are made, even on the part of government, they are not fulfilled”.

However Jennifer is particularly excited that the Environmental Assessment Impact EIA in the case of Cross River forest was rejected. “I am really super excited, for the example at what is happening in cross river state. This shows that it is no more business as usual”.

-Best Ofori.

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