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Experts unveil alternative to extractivism

Some experts under the auspices of the Nigeria Socio Ecological Alternatives Convergence have unveiled an alternative approach to extraction of mineral resources from the soil in a bid to salvage Nigeria’s deteriorating ecosystem.

Nigeria Socio Ecological Alternatives Convergence
Nnimmo Bassey (right) with other participants at the Nigeria Socio Ecological Alternatives Convergence in Abuja

The experts drawn from Civil Society Organisation (CSO) frontline community activists and academics unveiled the document on Thursday, June 20, 2024, in Abuja.

The Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Mr Nnimmo Bassey, said that the convergence had been thinking, planning and acting to drive an alternative ecological blueprint for Nigeria.

He said that an alternative ecological approach that respected the right of mother earth, and protected the planet and its people was the sole aim.

“We will be presenting the Nigeria Socio Ecological Charter that highlight the key ecological challenges across the country and present a policy pathway that is both progressive and protective of the planet.

“The charter represents a powerful call for a fundamental transformation of Nigeria’s socio-ecological landscape.

“It outlines a vision and plan for creating a sustainable, fair, and balanced society that prioritises the well-being of individuals and the preservation of the natural world.

“The charter presents a clear roadmap towards achieving our collective vision for our ecological wellbeing, firmly grounded in the values of fairness, inclusivity, and long-term sustainability,” he said.

According to Bassey, Nigeria cannot continue to depend on extractive ideas of extractivism, believing that wealth has to be dug out of the earth crust to survive.

He said that the way mining and oil extraction had been done over the years had damaged Nigeria to a large extent.

“The national social ecological alternative is proposing that we have to start thinking and doing things in ways that are in harmony with nature, that makes it possible for every Nigerian to live at peace with the environment,” he said.

In his keynote address, Prof. Zacharys Gundu, an expert in African Archaeology, said that there was a need to think differently to reverse the challenges of Nigeria.

According to him, the thinking that brought us here is not the same thinking that will take us out of the situation.

He said that Nigeria must look inward to address the challenges facing the country, saying that sustainable solution would not come from outside.

On his part, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba said all Nigerians have a role to play to salvage Nigeria’s deteriorating ecosystem.

He urged all Nigerians to engage in tree-planting and farming as well to meet the high demand for food in the country.

By EricJames Ochigbo

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