Mkpoikana Udoma 05 June 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, have planted different species of trees at the Port Harcourt Air Force Base as part of activities to mark this year’s World Environment Day.
Speaking at the tree planting ceremony, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, called on the people of the Niger Delta region to cultivate the habit of planting trees to meet the United Nations target to end deforestation by 2030.
Mr Ekere, who was represented by the NDDC Director, Special Duties, Dr. Princewill Ekanim, said that the theme for this year, “Connecting People to Nature” implores people to get outdoors and into nature and appreciate its beauty and its importance.
“People are integral part of nature, with the environment as man’s only abode.”
He noted, however, that social-economic development had led to massive destruction of the earth, which had caused Ozone layer depletion, flooding, ocean erosion, deforestation among others.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer said that symbolic tree planting would gradually become a natural event that everyone would undertake not just for celebration of World Environment Day but a spark for awareness creation for preserving the environmental heritage of the Niger Delta region.
He said the collaboration with NAF base would help engender institutional competition toward entrenching the desired environment for all in the Niger Delta and by extension the global community.
Also speaking, Commander of the Port Harcourt Air Force Base, Air Commodore Mahmud Nada Madi, commended the efforts of the NDDC, in conjunction with other organizations, in protecting the environment, stating that protecting the environment will add value to humanity.
The Commodore, who was also represented by Squadron Leader Gideon Luka, emphasized the importance to tree planting, adding that “tree planting helps to control pollution, protect soil erosion and provide shed for the environment.”
Earlier, the NDDC Director, Environment, Protection and Control, Mr. Alex Okenwa, expressed his gratitude to the Nigerian Air Force and called on Niger Delta people to imbibe the habit of tree planting to truly connect people to nature.