Ecologist Warns Against Tree Felling


An environmentalist, Mr Habib Omotosho, has urged Nigerians, particularly rural women, to desist from cutting down trees for timber and firewood.
Omotosho, the National Coordinator, Environmental Advancement Initiatives, an NGO, gave the advice in an interview with men in Abuja.
Omotosho, who described deforestation as a negative environmental phenomenon, said his advice became imperative because many rural women had resorted to cutting down trees for firewood, owing to the high price of kerosene nowadays.
“Through sustained deforestation, forests have been converted into farms, ranches and urban areas but a major cause of deforestation is the chopping down of trees for timber and fuel,’’ he said.
Omotosho stressed that trees were very important to the ecosystem, as they absorbed the harmful carbon dioxide and released the life-sustaining oxygen into the atmosphere, thus acting as natural friends of humans.
Besides, the ecologist said that trees absorbed water in large quantities during heavy rains, adding, however, that due to large-scale deforestation, there were fewer trees around to absorb and retain water.
He added that this had led to heavy floods, causing heavy losses of life and property.
”Tree is necessary for rain; it creates cold and humid atmosphere required for rain. Whenever it rains, trees hold the water and somewhat prevent floods.
”Trees provide food for humans and animals; if we continue to cut down trees indiscriminately, our action will definitely affect our rainfall patterns,’’ he said.
Omotosho said that uncontrolled tree felling would also create an unstable atmosphere, which could lead to the gradual destruction of the earth.
”When we cut down trees, we are taking a home away from animals. Trees cause shade and without the shade, the ground dries up faster, thereby depleting the soil’s nutrients,’’ he added.