The Federal Government on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 expressed its concern over the spread of unhealthy practices and degenerating human activities in the country that impact the environment.
This, the government noted, had led to deforestation, loss of biodiversity, flooding and other environmental challenges in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Alhaji Hassan Musa, made the observation at the National Council on Environment (NCE) meeting in Abuja.
Musa, who represented the Minister of State of the Ministry, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said that the situation had set the topography of the environment on a downward spiral.
The theme of the National Council on Environment meeting was: “Appraisal of the emerging challenges and opportunities in the Environment sector: A call for Action towards the environment of our dream”.
Ikeazor described the theme of this year’s council meeting as apt, considering the enormous challenges and opportunities that had been thrown up by the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to her, the pandemic was also a wake-up call for all to lay out a blueprint for a transformative recovery towards greater sustainability, a greener and more inclusive economy.
“The transformative recovery will inadvertently steer the economy unto the path of visible growth and development.
“However, the trajectory of growth we envision can only be achieved through the efficient discharge of our roles and obligations with utmost responsibility.
“As we are all aware, the widespread practices of unhealthy and degenerating human activities have led to deforestation, unprecedented global warming and loss of biodiversity.
“Also, climate change, flooding, plastic and air pollution, among others, have set the topography of our environment on a downward spiral,’’ she said.
Ikeazor noted that the commitment to finding lasting solutions to the restoration and sustenance of ecosystem was being assiduously executed through various programmes of the ministry.
She identified the programmes to include the Great Green Wall, Waste Management, Watershed Management, Renewable energy, Eco-Tourism, Green Bond, and Afforestation/Reforestation.
The ministry, she added, was also committed to implementing the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation project (HYPREP) and Environmental Impact assessment.
Ikeazor noted that the effort was with the aim of predominantly preserving the environment for sustainable development.
The minister said the ministry was similarly committed to building a thriving and sustainable economy, enhancing social inclusion and poverty reduction, enlarging agricultural output for food security for a better Nigeria.
“In order to achieve these goals, we must develop flexible and effective mechanisms, so that all actors involved are able to participate effectively and efficiently.
“More importantly, political will and support are required to mobilise the expertise, technical know-how and financial resources, which are vital determinants, to ensure the delivery of the desired change,” she said.
The ministry had taken effective actions in addressing the environmental challenges, through designing and implementing standard operating procedures, and providing technical support for environmental remediation projects, she said.
“Also, the ministry is designing programmes and processes to ensure a cleaner environment, as well as ensuring sustainable environmental planning and the conservation of our natural resources,’’ Ikeazor stated.
By Vivian Emoni