By Iduozee Paul, Benin
A don from the department of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management, Faculty of Agriculture, Ugbowo Campus, University of Benin, Prof. Gideon Emelue, has called for collective efforts to protect and preserved our environment in order to avoid economic disaster in Nigeria.
Prof. Emelue made the call at an event organized by Frontline Energy and Environmental Consultancy in Benin city. He said if we want to protect and preserve our environment from various economic degradation, we must cultivate the habit of planting trees.
According to him, what we need now is to start taking action on how we can protect the environments. He said demolition of houses, bush burning, gas flaring and other chemical reactions have ways of destroying the environment.
The academic said except we all protect the environment collectively, we cannot have a healthy living, pointing out that most of the diseases we contact from the environment are as a result of how we handle the environment around us.
In his keynote address, the guest speaker, Comrade Austine Osakwe, also advocated for collective efforts to protect and preserved our environments. He said, as a nation, we must come together to save our environment.
Comrade Austine Osakwe who is also the executive director, Foundation for Good Governance and Social Change, said in order for our environment to be protected and secured, government at all levels must set up clubs in schools to inform the students on the need to protect their environment.
The activist said our environment is our livelihood , adding that, for us to protect it, there must be a collective role in which governments at all levels must enact policies and laws that will guide it, with NGOs, individuals and all other stakeholders playing their part.
Osakwe said most of the problems we are experiencing in the environments today is from what we have caused the environment. He named them as; over population of environments, bush burning, gas flaring, using of dangerous chemicals, cutting down of trees without planting new trees, among other factors.
In their various goodwill messages, the director, Forest Conservation and Regeneration, Ministry of Environment and Sustainability and the senior special assistant to the Edo State governor on Forestry, Irene Ogbebor and Festus Ofondion Onogholo, said the state government is ready to assist in planting of trees to avoid climate change disaster.
The duo stressed that tree planting will go a long way to protect the environment urging that collective efforts is needed to protect the environments from further hazards.
Former president of FIDA in Edo State, Stella Ojeme, said as human beings, our environment affect the way we think and called for better ways to protect the environment. She appealed to participants and students at the event to take the message to others.
Convener of Frontline Energy and Environmental Consultancy, Sunny Duke Okosun, said the essence of the event is to protect the environment from what would constitute problems to health.
Okosun said the Lassa fever causing dangerous health hazards to livelihood is a result of not taking care of our environment and called for concerted efforts to put an end to the plaque. He said the nation needs more energy products to protect the environment.
The occasion also witnessed an awards presentation to those who have contributed immensely to the protection of the environment.