By Chuks Oyema-Aziken
The Conservator General, National Park Service, Dr Ibrahim Goni has called on environment stakeholders to work together, create awareness and green the nation — for a healthy environment.
Goni said this in commemoration of the 2021 World Environment Day which has the theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.
He said every Nigerian should take ownership of his environment for the health of the nation and its inhabitants.
According to him, all stakeholders must deliberately be involved in environmental conservation and restoration, to save our endangered species from going into extinction.
“Man has contributed so much in destroying the ecosystem and, though we cannot turn back the time, we can shape the future by taking care of the present.
” We should stop illegal felling of trees, continue to grow trees in our houses and environment, create gardens and clean up our rivers and coasts.
“We should collectively take responsibility and pay more attention to our environment.
“The environment gives us back what has been given to it,” he added.
The C-G noted that environmental conservation and restoration is critical to the wellbeing and survival of the inhabitants of the nation.
“Maintaining ecosystem balance will give clean air, shade, absorb harmful substances emitted by industries, check erosion and serve as home to animals”.
He, therefore, called for more awareness creation by all stakeholders on the importance of conservation and the need to protect the ecosystem.
“A lot of people are not aware of the dangers of environmental degradation so we must aggressively step up our awareness campaign to urgently arrest the tide.
” The zoonotic diseases such as covid-19, were said to have originated from humans’ interactions with wildlife and their habitat.
“COVID-19 is as a result of extraction from wildlife: the disease is believed to have come from animals to humans, therefore there is a link between COVID-19 and environmental degradation.
“For this reason, healthy ecosystems are crucial to reducing disease outbreaks, and disaster impacts,” he warned.