Experts lament decline in Lagos urban greening
The forum recommended that Park system should be established which would provide for active and passive recreation at town level — in the immediate valleys of the river system .
FACED with negative effects associated with climate change and inability of Nigerians to preserve green areas in Lagos and other cities, experts have called for the revival of urban greening.
A landscape architect, and lecturer at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of Lagos, who spoke at the first Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency Greening Stakeholders Forum held at the Muson Centre, Onike, Lagos, emphasised the importance of urban greening, noting that it epitomises the incorporation of socio-cultural values in environmentally organised human settlements.
Another speaker, Mr Adile Iroajugh, who spoke on “Stakeholders Involvement & Engagement in City Greening Initiative”, reminded the participants that the 1st Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in June, 1992, which was based on the principle of sustainable development.
Iroajuah stated that “Agenda 21” calls on governments to adopt national strategies for sustainable development and that the strategies should be developed with wide participation, including non-government organisations and the public.
A foremost environmentalist with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr. Desmond Majekodunmi, lamented the conversion of Ikoyi Park to a residential estate, now called Park View Estate.
To Majekodunmi, Old Lagos was green, citing places such as Race Course, now Tafawa Balewa Square, Ikoyi Park, among others that were centre of recreation to Lagos residents of all categories.
“But force of power by the military destroyed what made Lagos tick. Ironically, the beautiful Ikoyi Park was destroyed and renamed Park View without any park created in it”.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello, emphasised that environmental regeneration and sustainability has an integral part of the programmes of the Lagos State government since 1999. He noted that the achievements recorded in this regard are evident in the remarkable transformation of the state’s environmental landscape; that his administration is committed to continue along these lines and take it even further.
At the end of the programme, the forum recommended that Park system should be established which would provide for active and passive recreation at town level — in the immediate valleys of the river system .