HOMEF Calls for State of Emergency on Environment

Blessing Ibunge in Port Harcourt

Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has urged the federal government to urgently declare a state of emergency on the environment to tackle the challenges of the environment.

The Executive Directive of HOMEF, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, made the call yesterday in a statement to commemorate the 2024 World Environment Day (WED).

HOMEF, an ecology-focused advocacy group, noted that this year’s World Environment Day is dedicated to communities whose lands and livelihoods have been lost to ‘extractivism’ and pollution.

Speaking on the theme of the 2024 WED: ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience’, Bassey said it guides the reflection on the stewardship duty towards nature, environment and all living beings rather than continuing with a predatory and destructive relationships that negate our well-being.

He said steps must be taken to halt deforestation, biodiversity, erosion and land degradation, adding that without serious climate action, humanity will remain on a downward spiral to multiple crises that are already plaguing the world today.

Bassey noted that the 2024 WED offers Nigeria a template for socio-economic and environmental re-examination and action.

He explained that parts of Africa are ravaged by environmental degradation, water stress and drought, saying that Nigeria is particularly affected by desertification and other ecological harms.

According to him, “As we celebrate World Environment Day, we remind ourselves that our environment has been plagued with destructive activities especially through resource extraction and poor land-use changes.

“Nigeria needs an emergency environmental restoration plan across board as the only way to build resilience and ensure a safe future.

“This is our duty to ourselves and to future generations, and immediate steps should be taken by the Nigerian Government to ensure the proper clean-up of polluted lands, restoration of same and payment of compensation for damage suffered.”

He warned that: “We must wake up from the futile dream that the earth can be recklessly exploited without dire consequences. We need to understand that the generous gifts of nature must be handled with gratitude and care.

“We are living witnesses to the crimes committed in mining communities, oil fields and conflict zones. We must protect our biodiversity, reject species-eroding genetic modifications of all sorts, and support harmonious relationships with nature.”

HOMEF observed that the World Environment Day is an important day for governments to resolve to ensure that communities are fully informed, consulted and their consent received before projects that impact of the  environment are designed or implemented.

The non-governmental organisation maintained that it must never be forgotten that these communities continuously tackle the impacts of the multidimensional ecological crisis in their unsupported and vulnerable state and deserve to be protected.

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