Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu on Sunday stated that there is an urgent need for everyone to focus on the need to live sustainably with nature for the benefit of mankind.
He made this known during the year 2022 World Environment Day finale held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Secretariat, Alausa, adding that it has become necessary for shifting to a greener lifestyle through both policies and individual choices .
He added that sustainability of the environment are among the most pressing issues in the world today out of which the Earth faces triple planetary emergencies namely; Climate change, loss of biodiversity and Environmental Pollution.
The Governor who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Omolaji Gaji added that the impact of the afore mentioned challenges have negatively made the achievements of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) less successful.
It is pertinent to mention that this year’s theme “Only One Earth” was the slogan for the 1972 Stockholm Conference and 50 years on, this truth still holds as evidenced in the theme for World Environment Day 2022 being “ONLY ONE EARTH”.
“With nature in emergency mode, the #OnlyOneEarth campaign for World Environment Day 2022, wants us to celebrate the planet through collective environmental action”, he said.
He said the 1972 Stockholm Conference spurred the formation of environment Ministries around the world and kick-started a host of new global agreements to collectively protect the environment adding that it was also where the goals of poverty alleviation and environmental protection became linked, paving the way for the Sustainable Development Goals.
He explained that around the world now, the planet is suffering a staggering rate of dramatic environmental change which is increasingly subjected to the negative effects of human population growth and the associated pollution problems.
He added that Global environmental pollution has altered the earth’s natural system and is becoming an increasing concern for the well-being and survival of many species.
Sanwo-Olu said time is running out and nature is in emergency mode, adding that without action, exposure to air pollution beyond safe guidelines will increase by 50 per cent within the decade hence climate is heating up too quickly for people to survive and adapt to nature.
He said it is important to note that no matter the economic status, everyone must be a part of Lagos State Development Agenda by getting involved adding, that it is an opportunity given to all to think about nature which offers supply, shelter and ecosystem restoration.
He said Lagosians must admit the achievement of the State Government in Greening and Restoration of Indigenous trees project towards curbing climate change effect and its efforts to end open defecation by 2025.
According to him, while our individual consumption choices do make a difference, it is collective action that will create the transformative environmental change we need, so we can advance to a more sustainable and just Earth, where everyone can flourish.
He urged everyone to be alive to their responsibilities on this issue of the environment and also to note that sustainable consumption, production drive economic development, mitigate climate change, environmental pollution would positively impact health and alleviate poverty.
The Governor commended Corporate Organizations, Non-Governmental Institutions, Traditional Groups, Religious Groups and other notable bodies for ensuring that the persistent drive of the State’s policy towards entrusting legacy of greening and restoration of indigenous trees to the citizen is sustained.
Earlier in address, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello said the Government through Ministry of the Environment & Water Resources has implemented several programmes to mitigate these challenges through Tree planting, Climate change summit, Environmental bees clubs in schools, waste to wealth and ban on open defecation.
Speaking through the
Director of Sanitation Services Department, Dr. Hassan Sanuth, the PS said
World Environment Day launched the United Nations Decade on Ecosystem Restoration 2021-2030, to prevent, halt and reserve the degradation of ecosystem on every continent and in every ocean.
He added that government keyed into this call in 2021 by commencing the greening of Abraham Adesanya set back, together with restoration of some historical plants in specific locations like Agege, Idi-Mangoro where Mango trees were planted, Idi-Agbon in Ifako-Ijaiye where coconut trees were planted and in Lagos Island where breadfruit trees were planted at St. Paul Anglican Primary School, Breadfruit Lagos as part of this year’s celebration.
The guest lecturer, Dr. Ayo Tella while delivering his paper noted that Anthropogenic effects caused by human activities such as felling of trees have altered the earth’s natural systems and and survival of many species.
Various categories of awards were presented to corporate organizations, Community Development Areas, schools amongst others in recognition of contribution to sustainable environment