From: Bamidele Fashube, Abuja
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor has called for greater attention on the environment to ensure environmental sustainability.
He said this becomes imperative as the world is in crisis of environmental degradation.
Sanwoolu, represented by his Deputy Obafemi Hamzat, made the call at the 18th Chief S.L. Edu Memorial Lecture held in Lagos. The event themed: The role of traditional leaders in protecting and restoring the Nigeria environment was supported by Chevron Nigeria Limited and Chief S.L. Edu family.
Citing an instance, the governor explained how the drying Lake Chad was major source of survival for six countries in the 70s, while sharing borders with four other nations – Chad, Cameroun, Niger and Nigeria.
“In the 70s the surface of the water was 26, 000 square kilometres, the depth was about 11 meters and it was serving close to 40 million people,” Sanwoolu said. “But today, that same water is 1,350 square kilometres, which is about 14,000 per cent reduction. The tragedy is that population of that locality has increased.
“So, the land is shrinking while population is expanding. In fact, the population of Africa by 2050 is estimated to have about 1.3 billion people.”
He applauded the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) for its commitment to preserving the environment.
“If we don’t sustain the environment everything else will collapse,” he added.
In his remarks, notable environmental conservationist, Desmond Majekodunmi observed that the environment is being overstretched due to pollution.
He described climate change as serious threat which should be addressed by reducing emissions.
“We are over tasking the resources of this very life support system on the planet and there is far too much pollution on the atmosphere, far too much on the seas, which breaks down biodiversity, and climate change is a serious threat. We must cut down the pollution, we must resolve these things,” he stated.
The Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Muhammad Abubakar, also advocated a practical behavioural change as well as creative action plans to execute, monitor and sustain environment programmes to realise the desired goal of preserving the environment.