NGO To FG: Declare State Of Emergency On Environment

Date:

FROM IKHILI EBALU, BENIN CITY

A non-governmental Organization, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has urged the Federal Government to urgently declare a state of emergency on the environment as it joins the rest of the world in celebrating World Environment Day
(WED).

HOMEF made the call in a statement to commemorate the 2024 World Environment Day in Benin City, Edo State.

A statement signed by, Executive Director, HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey said the World Environment Day with theme ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought
Resilience’ is dedicated to communities whose lands and livelihoods have been lost to extractivism and pollution.

Bassey said that 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.

“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.” Bassey said.

Bassey added 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.”

He called on governments at all levels to resolve to ensure that communities are fully informed, consulted and their consent received before projects that impact on the
environment are designed or implemented.

He insisted that it must never be taken for granted or, forgotten that these communities continuously tackle the impacts of the multidimensional ecological crisis in their unsupported and vulnerable state and deserve
to be protected.

Adding that, We should transformatively change our policies and choices to live sustainably in harmony with nature, with the complete understanding that the planet is our only home and that her resources are finite.” Bassey said.

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