BusinessDay

Sustainability: Stakeholders call for increased protection of environment

The Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu has called on all stakeholders and citizens to increase focus on attitudes and practices that will protect the eco-system if the country wants to achieve sustainable development.

The minister said this at the maiden edition of the 2022 Environmental Sustainability Conference, Expo and Awards (ECOSEA), held last weekend in Lagos

The minister who was represented by Otunba Olufemi Olayemi Odumosu, Managing Director/CEO, Ogun-Oshun River Basin Development Authority, Abeokuta, said that in recent times, the earth’s natural system has been struggling to keep up with man’s unending demands in terms of food provision, clean water among others.

He said there is an urgent need for the human race to collectively act against further anthropogenic emissions of gases from the atmosphere, as this does not only hurt the earth, but humans too because a healthy environment is essential for our continued survival and the achievement of all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Speaking on the event’s theme, ‘ Only One Earth: Towards a Safer Environment’ the minister further added: “Many people do not understand why we need to worry about the environment.

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“The environment is really the one planet in which we live. Everything -winds, trees, animals, insects, people, etc- forms part of the living system of the earth. For example, trees are important because they make oxygen which helps us breathe. If too many trees are cut down for firewood or furniture, this reduces the amount of oxygen going into the earth’s system.

“ Over time, this can have a very bad effect on people and animals. These are some examples of what is happening to the earth because it has been exploited and not protected. We all have a responsibility to protect and use the environment in a way that will protect it for us, our children, and our grandchildren,” he said.

Also speaking, an environmentalist, Desmond Majekodunmi who is Chairman, Lekki Urban Forest and Animal Shelter Initiative (LUFASI) said “We are in the midst of a crisis. Global warming, climate change are greatest threats that humanity has ever faced.

“The climate crisis really is a genuine emergency and tackling it is utterly essential. What good is all the extra wealth in the world, gained from ‘business as usual’, if you can do nothing with it except watch it burn in catastrophic conditions?

‘’Humanity is waging war on nature. It’s suicidal. Nature always strikes back – and it is already doing so with growing force and fury. Biodiversity is collapsing. One million species are at risk of extinction. Ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes …Human activities are at the root cause and human action can help to solve it.”

Earlier, in his welcome address the convener of ECOSEA, Joshua Ajayi said the goal for ECOSEA conference is to create an annual platform that would steadily become the largest foremost thought-leadership platform that champions the cause of environmentally sustainable actions in Africa.

“We also want to create an aspirational space people will gather annually to showcase innovative and environmentally friendly products, services, and initiatives. We also want to be the most prestigious recognition platform to champion environmental sustainability in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa while serving as a tool of inspiration to others”.