In the article titled 'National goals via local action' published in the Climate Action Edition 2021 of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which is a global initiative of the United Nations, Professor Popoola revealed the contributions of students of Osun State University towards combating climate change in the environment and further expatiated how the newly enrolled students of the Institution are made to plant and nurture tree seedlings from matriculation till graduation under the UNIOSUN matriculation tree planting campaign.
Professor Popoola, a Professor of Forest Economics and Sustainable Development, and Director of Sustainable Development Solutions Network Nigeria also revealed the output of the tree planting campaign in UNIOSUN, and advocated the replication of the program across the education system.
"The tangible output of the Matriculation Tree Planting Campaign which commenced in 2018 is estimated to about 4,000 trees of various species and ages annually. In four years, about 16,000 seedlings were planted with a survival rate of over 80%.
"If this project is sustained, it has the potential of enhancing the environmental service functions of trees on the university campuses. Already, this has created huge awareness among our students about a nature-based approach to attaining some of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as they eagerly nurture the seedlings and trees.
"Nigeria has about 170 universities, 60 polytechnics, and 152 colleges of education. The impact of replicating this approach to greening our landscape in Nigeria and elsewhere can only be imagined. It is cost-effective, reliable, sustainable, and no negative impacts are envisaged," Professor Popoola added.
Furthermore, he stated that a key goal of the leadership of Osun State University is to help in developing efficient MRV systems that can be used across the country. This would ensure a greater collaboration is facilitated with the relevant government MDAs, which would help to provide a more valid greenhouse gas emission inventory.