An environmentalist, Dr Kelechi Okezie, has stressed the need to adopt new and sustainable strategy in the fight against deforestation to save the environment from harmful effects of climate change.
Okezie, Executive Director, Neighbourhood Environment Watch-Foundation (NEW-F), spoke on Friday in Abakaliki in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He decried the illegal and indiscriminate felling of trees, adding that conscious efforts must be made to plant new ones.
He said that government must introduce tree planting programmes that would usher a better and more sustainable approach to save the environment.
The environmentalist said that trees and green plants were critical and very crucial in maintaining healthy environment and in balancing the earth’s ecosystem.
“Deforestation leads to desertification, drying up of rivers, streams and it also abets ozone layer depletion that has become a global concern.
“Most luxury arable lands in most communities have been lost due to deforestation, unwholesome environmental practices and the fauna life is not left out as many animal species have become extinct.
“Government must address the problem of climate change and prevent the ‘doom’s day’ by implementing a robust afforestation programme that will safeguard our forests from illegal encroachment and stop illegal cutting of trees.
“If you must walk under a shade, plant a tree today and report those who fell trees illegally in your areas,” he said.
Okezie commended the Ebonyi Ministry of Environment for embarking on tree planting initiative, adding that the exercise would engender healthier environment in the state.