By Kingsley Adegboye
For the umpteenth time, the issue of environmental degradation with particular reference to the scourge of climate change, took the front burner at an African Environmental Action Summit in Lagos. The summit was organised by The Green Afrique Network.
Stakeholders who spoke on how to mitigate the threatening effects of climate change , agreed that the time for collective action on African environment is now or it may be too late.
The Chairman of the environment summit and President, Nigerian Conservation Foundation, NCF, Izoma Philip Asiodu in his presentation said Africans must take seriously issues of environmental management.
He regretted that all the warnings from appropriate authorities and agencies about climate change were ignored, noting that today, climate change has become a reality, Asiodu also bemoaned the way ecological fund is being handled by the federal government.
According to him, Ecological vote for environmental issues has not been handled well, as little vote goes into ecological projects across the country. “Let ecological fund be used to mitigate the effect of climate change in the country”, NCF president said.
Asiodu added that preservation of the country’s forests, apart from production of food for Nigerians, would also cushion the effect of climate change. “If we embark on tree planting, we will bring back all deforested lands in the country. We will have enough food to eat and our forests will resist the impact of climate change on Nigerians”, NCF boss stated.
In his presentation earlier, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, a director at NCF noted that one of the causes of environmental degradation is desertification, and the only way to over come it, is to plant trees to replace the lost ones.
Pointing out that environment experts have warned that there is crisis in the environment at various for a, Majekodunmi said the situation is so terrific that there is no life support to help the situation. He however, admitted that the crisis is not beyond people’s control if people are prepared for it.
According to him, the situation can be brought under control through policy advocacy by governments and environment NGOs, environmental education and awareness, research and data management as well as through biological diversity conservation of and protection of endangered species.
The guest speaker, Mrs. Funsho Amosun said Nigeria has significant role to play as regards environmental issues, and how to proffer solution for the sustenance of the environment.
Noting that awareness about environmental issues in Nigeria is still at its lowest, the First lady of Ogun State, noted that this is why all hands must be on deck in order to address the problem of the environment.