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Sunday, October 1, 2023

World Nature Conservation Day: Building eco-attitude among youths

Nature conservation is the term used to describe the protection, preservation, management, and care of earth’s invaluable biological diversity. These resources extend beyond fauna and flora; that is, animals and plants, it also includes, soil, forest, rocks, water and even more.

Amina Mohammed with participants at the Youth Forum at the 61st Session on Commission on Status of Women (CSW61)

Nature is the reflection of everything on earth; it is the fruit of the millions of years through evolution shared by ecological processes and anthropogenic factors. Over the years, nature has contributed to the well-being of humans. It may be surprising but true, that about 70,000 plant species on earth are used in medicine, according to recent ethnobotanical studies.

The sporadic increase in human population to over seven billion, and their unsympathetic activities has led to the declined population of different species through several unsustainable activities. Activities like felling of trees – without reforestation, needless bush burning, illegal wildlife hunting and trading, burning of fossil fuel among others. All these put together have affected the atmosphere and further depleted the habitat of biodiversity and nature’s hub.

Nigeria, a once nature-loving nation, has in recent times been growing an obnoxious environmental attitude. Even more, we have adapted a large consumption pattern as perceived in our quest to poach and hunt wildlife with no significant regards for posterity. Sometimes, this can be attributed to poverty, illiteracy, public engagement, and unstructured institutional framework resulting in major loss of our forest cover and wetlands which house the largest hub for biodiversity in Nigeria.

It is the duty of government to enhance, maintain and enforce environmental laws and order at all levels, but it is gloomy to note that the implementation and execution have left much to be desired. Fortunately, global calls of most environmental days this year is aimed towards environmental literacy, enlightenment, and advocacy with a major focus on the youths.

This year’s World Earth Day celebrated on April 22 was themed around “March for Science” to promote Environmental and Climate Literacy. World Wildlife Day marked on March 3 was themed “Listen to the young voices”. World Environmental Day celebrated June 5 was with the theme “Connecting people to nature”. These show the attachment we – youths – are building towards being nature-friendly; not only on social media platforms but into practical action around us.

In the coming years, this new eco-attitude we are building is expected to yield more positive results and eventually help us adopt a sustainable lifestyle. A lifestyle where we respect the reality, that our individual actions as harmless as they seem could have a global upshot; a lifestyle that we can hand-over to those coming behind us with pride.

We must always bear in mind that we are all part of a web of life – when one individual disappears others are at risk of disappearing as a result.

Let’s join hands to foster an environment that gives all but asks for care.

By Udo-Azugo Somtochukwu

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