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Need For Environmental Safety

Cecilia Ologunagba

Mr Dauda Toure, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nigeria, recently solicited environment-friendly human activities to protect the world. At the symposium organised to mark the 2015 World Environment Day, he observed that abuse of available resources on earth could result in harmful effects on human existence. “I have a dream, you have dreams of a world where everything is green, peaceful and flourishing. “A world in which the planet earth that we live takes care of man and human being is also very careful the way he treats the earth,’’ he said.

He said that the theme of the day –“Seven Billion Dreams. One planet. Consume with care’’ — was apt to sensitise people on the need to be environment- friendly in their activities in the environment. “It is the responsibility of each of us to create a viable environment for sustainable economic development, stabilising and reducing the rate of resources used,’’ he said. He urged the people to change their pattern of consumption from being wasteful to utilising the available resources for development. He warned that people could not afford to waste the scarce resources that were fast diminishing on the earth.

“We need to do something very fast before we consume our planet and our home; let us do simple things like turning off lights when not in use. “Not wasting water or food, reducing the number of plastic bags; all these go a long way when we decide to consume with care. “Imagination is the birth of all innovations. Let us dream ourselves into the future we want.

If we can see it, we can achieve it,’’ he said. In his view, Mr Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, suggested that the only way to save the planet earth was to embrace sustainable consumption. In his message to mark the day, he said that people could achieve that by shifting their consumption patterns towards goods that use less energy. The UN chief said that people should also shift their consumption patterns towards the use of less water and other resources and by wasting less food. “In this year of transformation, when we hope to see great advances on sustainable development and climate change.

“ Let us become more conscious of our ecological impact. Let us think about the environmental consequences of the choices we make. Let us become better stewards of our planet,’’ he said. Sharing similar sentiments, Mrs Fatima Mede, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, said promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production was one of the objectives of achieving sustainable development on earth.

“Making fundamental changes in the way people consume and produce are indispensable for achieving sustainable development. “Specific actions must be taken by everyone to ensure that we change from unsustainable patterns of production and consumption. “We must endeavour to reduce our carbon footprints and enhance our biodiversity.

We must minimise the amount of the waste we generate at home and in our work place. “We must always remember the 5Rs — Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover and Replace; we need to look inwards and come up with innovative ways to produce and consume with care. “If we all genuinely commit ourselves to doing what is right; we will achieve sustainable development and environmental protection.

“The commitment will go a long way to making this planet a safer and healthier place for our present and future generations,’’ she said. Speaking in the same direction, Mr John Chukwu, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, said that people should amend their patterns of behaviours to achieve sustainable development.

“Our quality of life, the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe cannot survive over time if we do not embrace positive change. “Also, the landscapes we live cannot survive over time if we fail to embrace positive change in our relationship with the environment. “Worldwide, climate change is becoming an alarming matter day by day.

“We need to come up with policies to improve energy efficiency, create alternative energy source and improve forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption, among other things. “It is high time we joined hands with the Federal Ministry of Environment in trying to save and secure our beautiful world,’’ he said.

In addition to modifying peoples’ activities to protect the earth, Mr Alex Nwegbu, the Director- General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, urged the Federal Ministry of Environment to be proactive in tackling environmental challenges. According to him, with the knowledge of geological survey, the ministry will be able to manage the environment properly. Also, Mr Nnimmo Bassey, an environmentalist, called for concerted efforts by the new government and stakeholders to restore the values of the environment. According to him, restoration of the environment will provide a virile method of building well-being and a new vision for Nigerians.(NANFeatures)

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