Environment experts have advocated policies and investments supporting cleaner transportation systems, clean and renewable power and better waste management, to make the earth more habitable.
They made the call on the hills of the 2022 World Environment Day Celebration. The Day is celebrated annually on the fifth of June, has grown to be the largest global platform for environmental outreach.
Led by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, the global event is focusing on burning global environmental challenges, with a view to addressing them.
This year’s event hosted by Sweden has the theme “Only One Earth” which focuses on “living sustainably in harmony with nature”.
The earth has been devastated by serious environmental issues which include climate change, loss of biodiversities, the recent Covid19 pandemic, among others.
In Nigeria, reports have it that no region of the country is spared with regards to environmental issues and attendant consequence.
To save the earth from environmental collapse, the Federal Controller, Ministry of Environment, Lagos Zonal Office, Mrs Oluwatoyin Agbenla says, Nigeria must urgently embrace green and sustainable lifestyle in all sectors of the economy for the environment to continue to support lives.
“Not only to Nigeria and Nigerians ,but to the whole world, if we do not do anything about the way we destroy the earth that is sustaining us,that our existence depends on, by 2050 there will be no earth for us. We need to work on our energy consumption”.
Air pollution is also a major headache and major cities like Lagos, Abuja, and Kano are reported to have air pollution that is over 4 times the acceptable range, according to an updated report by the World Health Organisation, WHO.
The organisation which stated that around 91% of the world’s population live in places where air quality levels exceeded recommended limits, identified air pollution as the 4th highest cause of death, trailing smoking, high blood pressure and food related ailments.
Prof. Nasiru Idris of the Department of Environmental Services, Nasarawa State University who notes that about 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year as a result of air pollution says living in harmony with nature should be a new way of life in the task of saving the earth.
“About 7 million people worldwide die prematurely each year, as a result of air pollution mainly in Africa and Asia, which Lagos is part of it. With lots of traffic congestion we have on ground,there is level ozone. It will change the air quality; it will have significant effect on the environment”.
“There is need for serious awareness for governments, industries, communities and individuals to come together to explore renewable energy options as we as green technology in order to improve the air quality of cities.
Diseases like stroke, heart disease, lung cancer and chronic respiratory diseases are linked to emission of harmful gases and chemicals due to fossil fuel consumption, bush burning and others which accounts for an estimated 4.2 million deaths per year as reported by the WHO.
An environmentalist Dr. Desmond Majekodunmi renews his call for the massive planting of trees capable of reversing most environmental problems.
“What we can do now is to plant trees which is what absorbs the carbon dioxide to keep us alive. We have to come come to the realisation that this is a serious issue and we need to prevent the crisis fromxcessive use of generating sets, open defecation ,indiscriminate disposal of refuse and others are among major problems facing the Masses especially here in Lagos”.
By Innocent Onoh