Nigerian Architects Pledge Commitment to Help Battle Climate Change

Sunday Okobi

As Nigeria joins others globally to mark the World Environment Day, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA) has expressed commitment to firmly put cases of environmental challenges and climate change on the front burner of its programme.

 While addressing journalists in Lagos yesterday, the President of the Institute, Mobolaji Adeniyi, noted that they have gathered majorly to address the pressing challenges facing the environment, adding that: “As architects, we have a critical role to play in shaping the built environment and promoting sustainability.

 “This year’s theme: ‘Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience’, resonates deeply with our current environmental realities. Nigeria is facing severe land degradation, desertification, and drought, which have devastating impacts on our ecosystems, biodiversity, and human well-being.”

He stated that in Nigeria, “we face numerous environmental challenges, including pollution, deforestation, and climate change. Our cities are plagued by inadequate waste management, flooding, and poor air quality.” 

“These issues not only harm our health but also hinder economic growth and development.

“But today, I want to highlight two specific examples that illustrate the urgency of our environmental crisis. Firstly,  the story of Amina which is trending on social media, a 300-level student at the University of Lagos, who is living in a deplorable situation. Her living conditions  are a stark reminder of the human cost of environmental neglect and is just one of the deplorable living conditions of many Nigerians. We must act now to ensure that everyone has access to safe and healthy living environments.”

Adeniyi added: “Secondly, the Lake Chad crisis, which affects millions of people in the region. The shrinking of Lake Chad has led to water scarcity, food insecurity, and displacement. This ecological disaster demands our attention and collective action.

“Therefore, as architects, we must take the lead in designing sustainable buildings, cities, and communities. We must incorporate green technologies, renewable energy sources, and eco-friendly materials into our designs. We must prioritise energy efficiency, water conservation, and waste reduction.

“We must also work with policymakers, developers, and stakeholders to ensure that environmental considerations are integrated into urban planning and development. We must promote inclusive and sustainable urban design, creating spaces that are livable, accessible, and equitable for all. We have reached out to the Minister for Environment and assured him of our capacity as architects to work with his ministry in ensuring lasting solutions to some of our challenges.”

 On this World Environment Day, the president urged all Nigerians to join him in committing to environmental stewardship. “Let us work together to restore our lands, combat desertification, and build resilience to drought. Let us act to protect our environment, restore our ecosystems, and ensure a sustainable future for all,” he concluded.

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