By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos State Government in conjunction with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is set to hold the 15th edition of the Annual Walk for Nature which will this year highlight the importance of preserving Nature and improving the quality of life across the state
Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, to sensitize the public on the importance of the year 2022 Annual Walk for Nature at Alausa, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, said the programme over the years has continued to create awareness and sensitize residents on the importance of Nature Conservation and Biodiversity.
He said Lagos State Government had since 2008 been collaborating with NCF to enlighten the citizenry on the importance of environmental protection and conservation through a yearly programme tagged; “Walk For Nature.”
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He stressed that the collaboration which has been for the past 15 years of observing “WALK FOR NATURE” on every third Saturday of October of each year, added that the theme for each year is coined from the theme of World Environment Day –“Only One Earth.”
The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environment, Dr Omobolaji Gaji, who spoke on behalf of the Commissioner, said the state government “is seeking to demonstrate an interest in conservation matters through partnership and collaboration with the Private sector and Non-governmental organization in compliance with the Sustainable Development Goal, SDG 17.”
Bello said, “Walk for Nature is geared towards promoting healthy lifestyles, improving physical fitness and increasing the environmental health of the residents through a reduction of vehicular emission.”
He stressed that the event over the years has created a great deal of consciousness among residents, especially those on Lagos Island which is one of the five divisions of the state.
“To further spread the awareness state-wide, this year’s programme has been extended to other parts of the State, and the commemoration will take place simultaneously in Ikeja Local Government, Surulere Local Government, and Ikoyi Obalende Local Council Development Area as a strategy to decentralize the awareness campaign and better reach out to the populace,” he said.
The Director General, NCF, Dr Joseph Onoja, while speaking, reiterated that the programme “is to create more awareness on the activities that mount pressure on biodiversity and wildlife as well as to improve behavioural change among the people towards nature.”
Onoja, who spoke through the Director, Business Development and Communications, Mr Uche Achunine, noted that people should always bear in mind that the more they harm some species by killing them and engaging in deforestation, the more they are harming themselves.
He urged everyone to learn how to treat nature nicely in order to promote a healthy lifestyle always and key into the walk to continually promote environmental awareness.
The 2022 Walk for Nature is slated to hold on Saturday, October 15, simultaneously in three locations, namely; Ikoyi, Ikeja and Surulere Local Government Areas.