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Environmental challenges: Experts worry over indiscriminate use of hazardous chemicals, waste dumping

Experts in environment sector on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 condemned the indiscriminate use of hazardous chemicals and dumping of waste in environment across the country.

Participants at the workshop

The experts made the call while presenting papers at a one-day workshop on ‘’Role of Journalists in the Quest for Sustainable Environment’’ in Enugu State, decrying the environmental damage caused by human activities.

The workshop was organised by Resource and Environmental Policy Research Centre (REPRC), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), Environment for Development (EfD).

Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo, Chairman, Advisory Panel of REPRC-EfD, presenting his paper on “Environmental Issues in Nigeria and the Role of Journalists in dealing with the Challenges”, said that environment is a place human cultures could develop.

Oladipo said that human activities were a major concern, adding that the activities have destroyed the diversity, complexity and functions of the biophysical/ecological life support system.

He said that the consequences of the human activities had also led to loss of biodiversity and long-term damage to ecosystems, land degradation among others in the country.

According to him, the impact of chemicals use in our environment and the way people disposed their waste have really affected our environment.

“The environment has been abused by different actors, from individuals to government, both economically, physically and socially,” he said.

The chairman called on Nigerians to change from such ugly activities and make better use of available resources to improve the quality of human life and ecosystems.

He also urged the stakeholders as well as governments to collaborate for training and creating effective awareness to public on importance of improving a healthy environment.

He said that the awareness would help to educate people and create meaningful partnership among organisations and communities in ensuring effective management of environment for sustainable development.

Mrs Petra Hanson, Web Editor, EfD, who presented paper on using EfD as a resource in environmental reporting through virtual, said that journalists should report evidence-based information.

Hanson said that a good report should carry a unique database as well as have good topics for research, adding that such would give the journalist easy and accurate reporting.

Also, Mr Donard Ugwu, Science Editor, News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), presenting a paper, said that environment stakeholders should support the government to addresss and respond to climate change issues and other environmental challenges.

Ugwu whose paper was on ‘’Communication Strategy for Tracking the Implementation of Nigeria Key Environmental Policies,’’ through virtual, said that government had its areas of interest in the mitigation of environmental issues.

He said that government is working on waste, air, and noise pollutions, as well as the Ogoni clean-up, among others, through collaboration of relevant stakeholders in the country.

He, however, called for a stronger partnership by government and international organisations as such would help to addresss environmental challenges.

He also urged people to stop indiscriminate dumping of refuse and use of hazardous chemicals in the environment, adding that such a development could lead to degradation of the environment.

He advised journalists to do a thorough research while reporting environmental issues, adding that the effort would help them chun out accurate and reliable report. 

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