By Stanley Onyekwere
The FCT Minister of State, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu has stressed the importance of commitment to meeting obligations in preserving the environment, and ensuring that mother nature serves all that depend on it for lives and livelihood responsibly.
Aliyu, who spoke at the commemoration of the World Earth Day in Abuja, while calling for collective and sustained efforts of all, noted that mass mobilization and awareness campaigns should be stepped up to galvanise the public into taking positive actions against the dangers facing mankind due to the degradation of the environment.
She also called on the education sector to ensure that environmental subjects are taught in schools from foundation classes.
The minister, who was represented by the FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr. Olusade Adesola, equally urged community based organisations to be fully involved in spreading the message and taking positive actions to demonstrate support for environmental protection.
Aliyu, however, described the commitment of majority of nations across the world to keep faith with efforts of protecting the environment including resolutions reached at the World Climate Change Conference as heartwarming and encouraging.
The minister, however, regretted that due to human activities such as overconsumption, population growth and technology, the biophysical environment is being degraded resulting to adverse and extreme weather phenomena such as flooding, heatwaves, hurricanes, typhoons and desertification.
“The consequences of these have adversely affected the lives and livelihood of millions around the world and resulted to drought, famine, and forced migration, which has led to clashes amongst communities.
“And even an increase in diseases caused by the consumption of foods from contaminated farmlands, rivers, oceans and even meat and livestock,” she affirmed.
Earlier, in his remarks, Director, Operations, Planning and Strategy in the FCTA, Mr. Atang Samuel, who read the FCTA Permanent Secretary’s speech, noted that the occasion has provided the global community a sense of shared responsibility and a common goal to protect the earth, the source of livelihood.
According to him, “ the significance of commemorating the World Earth Day cannot be over emphasized. For over forty years, the Earth Day has provided us with a sense of shared responsibility and a common goal to protect the Earth which has our environment, our source of livelihood and our one and only home”.
In the speech, the Permanent Secretary noted that, in their quest for economic growth and development, they have engaged in activities that are inimical to the Earth, which are responsible for the complete disappearance of some species and the acceleration of the climate change.
He further explained that the good news is that governments around the world are making serious effort in reducing carbon footprint by regenerating the environment through various initiatives such as planting of trees, introduction of policies aimed at achieving cleaner rivers and skies and reducing global warming.
Adesola said, “ We at the FCT Administration are doing our part by ensuring the implementation of policies and programmes that will aid the protection of the environment.
“Therefore, our message to the public is that we must learn to live in balance with the planet that sustains us by doing things the better way i.e cleaner, greener and healthier. Each of us has a role to play and each of us is part of the solution”.
He therefore urged all the residents of the nation’s capital on this 2022 Anniversary to commit to be good stewards of the Earth, noting that “ our home and the FCT our abode for generations to come”, he added.
On his part, the Convener of the Programme and Senior Special Assistant to the FCT Minister on Environment and waste management, Arc Tunde Imolehin noted that this year’s theme; “Invest in our Planet” was apt, given the urgent need to rejuvenate the earth.
Imolehin, an Environmentalist noted that the FCT Administration is doing its best by ensuring the implementation of policies and programmes that would aid the protection of the environment, just as he called for a cleaner environment.
Part of the activities to mark the day included: tree planting, a road walk along the streets of Abuja to arouse public consciousness on the environment, and the need to preserve and protect it as well as a panel discussion on environmental sanitation and sundry issues in the FCT.