By Michael Olugbode
The federal government has expressed its commitment to finding lasting solutions to the restoration and sustainance of the nation’s ecosystem.
Speaking at the 15th National Council on Environment in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said the nation is determined to ensure that the present environment is preserved for sustainable development.
Ikeazor, who was represented by a permanent secretary in the ministry, Hassan Musa, said the 15th meeting of the National Council on Environment themed ‘Appraisal of the Emerging challenges and opportunities in the Environment Sector: A call for action towards the Environment of our dream’, could not have come at a better time considering the enormous challenges and opportunities that have been thrown up by the debilitating effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She said: “Without a doubt, the pandemic is also a wakeup call for us to lay out a blueprint for a transformative recovery towards greater sustainability, greener and more inclusive economy that will advertently steer the economy on the path of visible growth and development. However, the trajectory of growth we envision can only be achieved through the efficient discharge of our roles and obligations with utmost responsibility.
“As we are all aware, the widespread practices of unhealthy and degenerating human activities have led to deforestation, unprecedented global warming, loss of biodiversity, climate change, flooding, plastic and air pollution amongst others. This has set the topography of our environment on a downward spiral.
“At this juncture, while we critically examine the prevailing environmental challenges, we should not loose sight of the emerging opportunities which must be driven through the following actions: Designing and implementing standard operating procedures; providing technical support for environmental remediation projects; designing programmes and process for a cleaner environment, ensure sustainable environmental planning and the conservation of our natural resources.”
According to her, “The commitment to finding lasting solutions to the restoration and sustainance of our ecosystem is being assiduously executed through the mandate of the Great Green Wall, waste management, watershed management, renewable energy, eco-tourism, Green bond, aforestation/reforestation programmes, implementation of UNEP report on the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation project (HYPREP) and Environmental Impact assessment with the aim of predominantly preserving the environment for sustainable development.”
She told the gathering that: “On this note, and as you settle down to x-ray the various memoranda that are before you, I would like to implore you to pay special attention to this very important segment of the meeting as recommendations harvested during the technical deliberations will determine the decisions to be arrived at the Council meeting on Friday.”