World Environment Day Connects People to Nature  

By Fadekemi Ajakaiye

The Federal Controller of Environment, Lagos, Mrs. O. Agbenla, on behalf of the Minister of Environment, Jibril Ibrahim introduced the theme as “Connecting People to Nature” with the slogan “In the City and on the Land, from Poles to the Equator.”
The aim of the annual event is to reconnect humans who have been disconnected from nature through anthroprogenic activities which led to the degradation of the environment, causing current challenges that threaten the earth’s ability and capacity to support our existence, she said.
The United Nations General Assembly established the World Environment Day (WED) in 1972, resolution 2994 of 15th December in order to stimulate awareness on the environment, enhance political attention and public action.
The World Environment Day is also an opportunity to take stock of achievements attained in overcoming the daunting environmental challenges; while adequately reviewing strategies and developing policies to further curb environmental deterioration as well as promoting sustainable lifestyle required for effective restoration of the planet earth.
At the event which was held at the Conference Hall, Games Village Lagos, Agbenla stated simple ways to reconnect back to nature which include, proper industrial and household waste management; protect biodiversity, create more parks and gardens, protect existing park reserves; planting vegetables, flowers and economic trees in compounds and backyard gardens; marine sanctuaries from encroachment and poaching, she listed.
Agbenla stated that reconnecting back to nature for a greener, healthier environment for the present and future generations require a collective effort and what we owe ourselves and planet earth.
Dr. Abiodun Denloye, a guest speaker at the event stated that nature is everything in the universe apart from humans and their activities. “Nature includes plants, animals, landscape, land, minerals and water bodies.
He said a balance of nature is required and this balance occurs when the ecological system are in a stable equilibrium known as homeostasis.
He stated that the balance occurs when there is no submergence or extinction of some creatures. Man’s impact on nature is on habitat, through pollution, technology and climate change, he said.
Recommendations on connecting back to nature includes, education through regular research, courses and program through the mass media; favourable policies, regulations and enforcement; protected area systems; preservation of zoos and botanical parks; ecotourism and nature holidays.