Stakeholders have decried the decaying state of the Nigerian environment due to lack of adequate awareness coupled with challenges arising from climate change and global warming.
They stated this on the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day, WED, with the theme: Ecosystem Restoration, which focuses on resetting relation with nature.
Celebrated on June 5 every year, WED is the UN’s day for promoting awareness and environmental action globally which has become the largest global platform for environmental public outreach and celebrated by millions of people across the world.
Prof. Babajide Alo of the University of Lagos Linkage Centre for Environmental Human Resources Development, said Nigeria’s environment was still confronted by deforestation, poor management of biodiversity and climate change impacts.
He listed others as drought and desertification, flooding, soil and coastal erosion, water and crude oil pollution, industrial contamination of air and water bodies, urban decay and poor municipal waste management.
He attributed some of the environmental problems causing security breaches in the country to herdsmen’s migration to the South in search of fodder for their cattle.
He charged government at all levels, the private sector and other stakeholders to use the WED message to consider restoring degraded environment and impoverished populace.
“They should take steps to implement strategies in the National Policy on Environment, sectoral policies and action plans on different environmental issues and embark on enforcement of desirable environmental laws,” he said.
On his part, Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, stressed that the violence in the country had direct negative impact on the environment, adding: “Some citizens and corporate bodies have used the prevailing situation to wreak havoc on ecosystems at dramatic levels.
“There is ongoing plunder of forest resources and ecosystems through illegal logging for export. This is happening in broad daylight and the systems of government that ought to protect the forests and communities appear to be either comatose or complicit.”
Bassey advised Nigeria to stop environmental recklessness, saying: “This can be done by ensuring the teaching of environmental responsibility and health at all educational levels.”
Also, Director of the Centre for Climate Change and Development, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Prof. Chukwumerije Okereke, told The Guardian that Nigeria is not on track to achieving Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs target.