Mary Beth Leonard
US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard

In commemoration of World Environment Day, Acting U.S. Consul General Brandon Hudspeth on Saturday participated in a tree planting event with students of St. Savior’s School, Ebute Metta, Lagos.

Acting Consul General Hudspeth alongside General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) Dr. Dolapo Fasawe and Assistant Director at the Lagos State Ministry of Environment Folasade Adeyoju, joined the students to plant a tree on the grounds of the school, a statement from the Consulate said.

The event was organized by members of the Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI) under the auspices of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Alumni Association, with the support of a public diplomacy grant of the U.S. Consulate General.

Acting Consul General Hudspeth noted that the tree planting activity underscores the U.S. government’s commitment to supporting initiatives that raise awareness about the importance of protecting the environment.

“We are thrilled that our YALI alumni are partnering with St. Savior’s School for today’s tree planting activity. Children have the potential to be powerful agents of change. By focusing on school-aged children, giving them tools and knowledge to change behaviors, future generations will be better prepared to care for the environment,” Acting Consul General Hudspeth said.

He expressed optimism that the involvement of the students in the tree planting activity will shape their perspective about environmental conservation and restoration of our ecosystem. He also acknowledged the positive impact of work performed by the YALI alumni to build linkages between different communities and government institutions in Nigeria to promote environmental conservation efforts.

“Our main goal is to implement a campaign that will involve community members, local organizations, and government institutions to inspire and educate Nigerians on the importance of a clean environment for human health and a strong economy,” Acting Consul General Hudspeth added.

In her remarks, LASEPA General Manager Dr. Dolapo Fasawe lauded the schoolkids and their teachers for their commitment toward protecting the environment. According to her, tree planting plays an essential role in mitigating the impact of climate change. “Planting trees is one of the most important things we can do to contribute to the health of the planet,” Dr. Fasawe noted.

Head Teacher, St. Savior’s School, Ebute Metta, Mrs. Lawrencia Izedonmwen, expressed the commitment of the school to promote environmental education and responsibility by creating awareness and empowering schoolchildren in its host community.

Following the tree planting activity, YALI alumni members moved to the Sabo-Yaba community of Lagos for a clean-up exercise as part of activities marking World Environment Day.