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Ecosystem loss: Environmental experts call for attitudinal change

Environmental experts have called for attitudinal change and sustainable practices among Nigerians to curb ecosystem loss.

Balarabe Lawal
Malam Balarabe Lawal, Minister of Environment

The experts, who said this in separate interviews on Sunday, June 16, 2024, in Lagos, also noted that all hands must be on deck to tackle human-induced environmental damage that affects the ecosystem.

Mr Taiwo Adewole, an environmental consultant, said that the human-induced environmental damage had far-reaching consequences for the ecosystem, biodiversity, and climate change.

Adewole emphasised that there was the need for sustainable practices and environmental stewardship.

“We can clearly see the various human-induced environmental damage such as the climate change and ecosystem loss.

“Deforestation is one of the human-induced environmental damage.

“Another one is clearing forests for agriculture, urbanisation, and logging, leading to loss of biodiversity and increased greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

He added that another human induced damage was pollution, releasing harmful substances into the environment, such as plastics, chemicals, and industrial waste, which contaminate air, water, and soil.

“Land degradation is also a human activity that damages soil quality, reduces fertility, and alters ecosystems.

“Burning fossil fuels and other human activities that release large amounts of greenhouse gases, leading to global warming and altered ecosystems.

“We must switch from linear to circular economy, from fossil fuel to renewable sources,” he said.

He added that the people also needed to be educated and sensitise on environmental issues.

“We need to integrate environmental education into school curricula and public awareness campaigns to promote sustainability and eco-friendly practices,” he said.

A climate change enthusiast, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, said that some implementations could help curb human induced environmental damage.

Emechete said that creating and enforcing environmental policies would help individuals and businesses to practice sustainability in their daily lives and businesses.

“Without a policy or law, many would take the cheapest or most available practice or method and get away with it.

“For example, illegal waste disposal, deforestation, bush burning, gas flaring among others,” he said, adding that encouraging and pushing for sustainable behavioural change and practices could also curb human-induced environmental damage.

Emechete added that the necessary infrastructure should be in place to avoid illegal disposal of waste.

“If the government establish policies saying no illegal disposal of waste, then they must provide for people to do it the proper way.

“The same thing is applicable to organisations, if organisation wants its employees to work sustainably, they must also encourage this with infrastructure and systems to make it’s possible.

“Individuals, government, families and communities must be aware of environmental issues.

“Everyone must be aware of the policies implemented to curb and mitigate environment issues.

“They must be taught on how to mitigate this event and about the policies, law or guidelines for sustainable environment practices,” he said.

He added that everyone needed to work together to curb these anthropogenic activities.

“Private and public sector, government, Families, religious bodies, among others can do more if we work together.

“With data driven research, we can find out the source of the problems and what to do to fix It.

“We can look at trends and proffer a solution based on projected predictions. We can know what has happened, why it has happened and predicted what will happen and what to do to change it.

“For example, the reason we know that the climate is changing is because we have models that help us make research of it happening to the earth’s temperature,” he said.

By Henry Oladele

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