By Kingsley Adegboye
Against the backdrop of the ravaging effects of climate change and global warming sweeping across the world, and the need for their adaptation and mitigation,former Minister of Industry, and past Chairman, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Onikepo Akande, has charged land surveyors to take advantage of their profession as land cartographers to advocate policies that will make the environment sustainable devoid of environmental degradation.
The NEPAD Nigeria Business Group Chairman who spoke on Climate Change and the Role of Surveyors at the 13th edition of the Annual Adekunle Kukoyi Memorial Lecture organised by the Lagos State branch of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors in Lagos last week, noted that surveyors have the knowledge and expertise necessary for adaptation to climate change in order to protect the present and future generations on possible disasters that might result from the current global warming.
“You work with the land, people, political and social institutions in developing, building and maintaining towns and cities. This puts you at a very important position to advocate and lead the agenda to protect the present and future victims of climate-related disasters,” Akande said.
The former Minister of Industry while advising policymakers on tackling the challenges of climate change, reiterated that surveyors are the custodian of accurate land information and administration and it is important for decision-makers to take consultation for accurate and relevant information on land usage and its impact on the environment.
She enjoined the surveyors through their various associations to ensure developmental projects that will comply with best practices and environmental standards, adding that the safety of beneficiaries of these projects following completion should be of interest to the surveyors from the planning stage.
“Surveyors play an important part in the development process. You are well placed with a unique set of tools and knowledge that gives you the professional responsibility to not only focus on your clientsbut also the environment. To achieve ecological sustainable environment, you need an in-depth understanding of environmental, social and economic impacts of a proposed development project,” Akande stated.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman of the Lagos branch of the Nigerian Institution of Surveyors, NIS, Adeshina Adeleke said the institution decided to discuss the issue of climate change at the summit because it is aware of the effects on livelihood and the lecture affords an opportunity to brainstorm on the way to curb this natural phenomenon.
The chairman noted that as the issue of climate change is global, and is being discussed world over, the NIS is also taking a lead as stakeholders in the environment and land matters to add its voice on ways to combat climate change.
The annual lecture, the 13th in the series, is organised in honour of the pioneer president of the NIS, the late Surveyor Adekunle Kukoyi who was the president of the Institution from 1973 to 1978.