A Professor of Geography and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Lagos State University (LASU), Ayo Omotayo, has called on the government to adopt Geography as a compulsory subject at the primary and secondary school levels Omotayo, who made the call while delivering the 56th inaugural lecture of the institution titled ‘Are we Living in a Dying Earth?’ said government should reorder its educational priorities through a new curriculum that will emphasise an understanding of the environment.
According to him, the country needs a good leadership to implement such policies, adding that it should also constitute a national conference on environmental law and sustainability.
“Scholars in the field of development over time have come to the conclusion that efforts at developing critical control aspects of world growth yield better results when the outcomes of such efforts can be continuously experienced in such a manner that does not impact negatively on any other aspects of human existence.”
He stated that geographers have from time immemorial come to realise the role that man has been playing in shaping the way the earth responds. “We have found that for all actions of man that disrupts this equilibrium, the earth responds in its natural ways and manners. Some of these responses have not been unsavoury and have been of great significances to mankind.”
The don called for the establishment of a revolution that will restore and preserve the earth’s environmental systems, saying, “there are indications that if this environmental revolution succeeds, it may rank up with agricultural and industrial revolutions as one of the great economic and social transformations in human history.”
Omotayo added that the environmental revolution will make use of new technologies which will be driven primarily by restructuring the global economy such that it does not destroy its natural support system.
“Its success will be metered by the extent to which it is able to transform the global economic system into an environmentally sustainable development path that leads to preservation of ecosystem services, greater economic security, healthier lifestyles, and a worldwide improvement in human living conditions.”
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun, stressed that laws play a critical role in ensuring sustainability, saying, “laws helps man to curb impunity. The laws are there but not being enforced.”
He expressed concern that man will pay his way through after committing a crime, saying that people must change their attitude and enforce the law towards ensuring a sustainable environment.