Nigerian Young Digital Activists (YDAs), under the umbrella of Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet), have commemorated the 2021 edition of the Cross River Green Carnival. The carnival, which was tagged “GO GREEN”, was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Development of the Cross River State Government.
The activity brought together young and old from all over the State and beyond.
The wet season carnival was introduced in 2019 by Governor Ben Ayade as part of the Cross River State tourism offerings , encouraging citizens to imbibe tree planting culture.
According to the Commissioner of Culture and Tourism Development, Eric Anderson, “Cross River is nature’s gift to Nigeria and Africa. Cross River holds over 50 per cent of the last remaining tropical rainforest in Nigeria and listed as one of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots.
“The State has five distinct ecotypes such as the mangrove, tropical rainforest, montane, guinea and Sahel savanna. The need to sustain this huge nature’s heritage motivated the Governor to introduce the annual green carnival in 2019,”.
The YDAs from the Southern part of Nigeria joined in this colourful event, alongside other colleagues across the country who joined virtually using their social media platforms to communicate messages of the day to the wider society.
His Excellency, the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, in the company of the First Lady Linda Ayade, members of the State Executive Council, Local Government Council chairman, and members of the State House of Assembly, performed the flag-off of the Green Carnival at Marry slessor round junction Calabar the State capital.
Mfong Bassey, the State’s Commissioner for Environment, in a remark, said the 2021 Green Carnival is a celebration of Cally Air, the State-owned Airline.
Mfong noted that the Governor had purchased a tree transplanter machine to be used more effectively to plant more trees in the State.
He further disclosed that the essence of the exercise is to plant more trees to cushion the effect of climate change.
Prof. Ben Ayade, Cross River State Governor, said that an executive order compelling all landlords to plant four trees per compound will soon be issued. He made this known in Calabar on Tuesday while inaugurating the 2021 Green Carnival..
“We are going to have an executive order to be followed by a bill to the House of Assembly, mandating every single landlord to plant a minimum of four trees per house. “This will provide enough tree cover, because when we had a storm in Calabar, most roofs were blown away.
“If we had these trees, they would have saved us the agony of trying to fix our houses. “We want to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and it is our responsibility to ensure that at no time do you drive through the streets of Calabar and have the sun at the back of your car. “The top of your car should go through a canopy and this programme is intended actually to start the planting of trees.”
Jacinta Egba, co-founder of Build Green Ecosystem and also state project coordinator for Global Warming Shield Foundation, said that trees were essential tools in the fight against climate imbalances currently ravaging humanity.
“I see the annual Calabar Green Carnival as another better platform of conveying the message of climate action to the public. Through the party street displays as we along sides carry written messages on placards, the importance of preserving our ecosystems is captioned. Some of the specific messages we portray include #StopDeforestation, #StopBushBurning and #PlantTreesToday.”