The Lagos State Government has developed an action plan for the restoration, protection and management of identified environmental degradation that may have negative impacts on the environment.
Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr Tunji Bello, disclosed this at Ikoyi on Saturday, October 15, in commemoration of the 2022 “Walk for Nature.”
Bello was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr Omobolaji Gaji.
Bello said that the theme for this year, “Only One Earth”, was chosen to create more awareness on the importance of protecting nature and to remind all that there is only one habitable planet which is the Earth.
Bello said that the walk, which was organised in conjunction with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), was held in three different locations simultaneously at Ikoyi/Obalende, Surulere and Ikeja Local Government Areas.
According to him, the government is committed to actualising goals 11-17 of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG).
He said that the state government had formulated policies aimed at the conservation of biodiversity.
Bello added that the state government would not relax on its plans to promote awareness on the adoption of Green and Blue Economy.
He said that the present environmental reality was a sad reminder that unsustainable human activities and over-exploitation of species and natural resources were putting to peril the world’s biodiversity.
He added that nearly a quarter of all species were presently at risk of getting extinct in the coming decades.
“It is important to note that humans have only been around for 200,000 years of the 4.5 billion years of the existence of planet Earth, yet we have had a significant negative effect on the One Earth more than any other species.
“In a 2018 report of the Worldwide Fund for Nature titled ‘Our Living Planet Report, it was revealed that wildlife and species population decreased by 60 per cent globally between 1970 and 2014,” Bello said.
He said that the government through the THEMES Agenda addressed some of the issues which include the destruction of natural habitats to create farmland, over population, large scale development project, grazing and fuel-wood collection to ensure environmental sustainability.
Bello said that, in view of the above, residents should ensure that all efforts were geared toward nurturing and protecting the environment.
He added that this responsibility should be the collective goal of everyone and not just the responsibility of the government.
He said the 15th collaboration between the government and the NCF on annual walk had raised awareness on the protection of nature while showcasing the implementation of excellent results of the government in its environment policies
He urged all organisations, communities and individuals to engage proactively in increasing awareness through the Walk for Nature programme to prevent destruction of natural habitat caused by illegal dredging, deforestation, degradation of wetlands, indiscriminate dumping of refuse amongst other unfriendly environmental activities.
“In this respect, let us individually and collectively think creatively and innovatively on not just the need but how best to conserve the ‘Only One Earth’ so we can advance to a more sustainable and just Earth, where everyone can flourish,” Bello said.
By Fabian Ekeruche