By Chris Onuoha
The Lagos State Government and conservationists have renewed calls for increased practices aimed at preserving the environment for the sake of future generations. These calls were renewed at an event to commemorate the 2020 World Environment Day held recently at the Lekki Conservation Centre.
At the event, hosted by the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) and supported by Bonnie Bio Nigeria Limited, the stakeholders took turns to lament on the adverse effects of mankind’s activities on the environment while calling for positive actions to reverse the unfortunate trend.
In her opening remarks, the General Manager, LASEPA, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, noted that COVID-19, although a viral infection, could be linked to man’s disrespect for his environment.
“Deforestation has brought animals closer to us. Diseases that should not be found in human beings are being found in human beings because we are encroaching into the animal world with our practices,” she said.
Adding that a day was not enough for the celebration of the environment, she underscored the importance of dedicating each day to preserving our “borrowed space” for generations to come.
She also commended partnering company, Bonnie Bio, for being particularly concerned with the way we live our daily lives with their production of biodegradable bags, cutleries and other fit-for-the-environment brands.
Also speaking at the event, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Water Resources and Environment, Mrs Odeneye Belinda, underscored the need to make the environment sustainable.
Odeneye, who was represented by Mrs Banire, pointed out that it was not enough to pay lip service to the preservation of the environment. “Practice what you say in improving the environment. Walk the talk,” she said.
Nigeria’s first Miss Environment and founder, Fabe International Foundation, Temitope Okunnu, called for the adoption and sustenance of environmental consciousness. She stressed the importance of building that consciousness in children.
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While commending LASEPA’s efforts in managing the environment in Lagos, she advised that people take gardening up as a hobby to contribute to the preservation of the ecosystem.
Mr Eyinfunjowo Lanre added that man, being a selfish animal, would destroy the environment if left to his devices. He therefore called for a sustainable revolution and enforcement of environment systems, which, according to him, is the only way to stop man in his tracks.
The Technical Director, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr. Joseph Onoja, said protecting the environment is essentially protecting humanity. According to him, if we neglect this sacred duty, “the environment will always take care of itself” albeit “at our own detriment”.
Speaking on behalf of Bonnie Bio Nigeria Limited, Mrs OgunbiyiOdun expressed the company’s commitment to partnering with the state government to reduce plastic waste in the state. She also pledged the company’s full support for the state government’s biodegradable waste management policy.
While introducing the company’s range of environment friendly plastic products, she called on the government to introduce policies that would enforce the consumption of biodegradable products in public places in the state.
The World Environment Day has been celebrated on 5th June every year since 1974. This year’s theme is Biodiversity.