FIC Report (Edo State) – The Federal Ministry of Environment, Edo State Office has organized a seminar to commemorate the 2022 edition of the World Environment Day.
Speaking at the seminar, the resource person, a Professor of Environmental Chemistry , University of Benin, Professor Emmanuel Ukpebor, said the aim of commemorating the World Environment Day 2022 is to promote awareness of a clean environment, take Collective transformative action and to sustainably live in harmony with the environment.
He emphasized the need to protect the earth because it is the only habitable planet that offers clean air, fresh water, food and oxygen for thousands of species including humans.
The Environmental Expert noted three main crisis facing humanity globally as climate change, pollution and nature’s biodiversity loss. According to Prof. Ukpebor, climate change is the most pressing issue facing humanity. He described climate change as a long shift in temperature and weather patterns which completely alters the ecosystem. He submitted that human activities through energy use, such as domestic gas use, which releases carbon dioxide is proven as the main cause of climate change. Other gases responsible for climate change according to him, are methane (CH4) nitrous oxide (N20) trospheric ozone (03) among others.
Professor Ukpebor disclosed that direct consequences of climate change and its impact on humanity includes water scarcity, wildfires, rising sea levels, flooding, catastrophic storms and biodiversity loss.
The Environmental expert considered air pollution as the largest cause of disease and premature death. According to him, statistics have shown that 7 million people die prematurely each year due to pollution, and 9 out of 10 people worldwide breathe air that contains high levels of pollution.
According to him air pollution comes from indoor household activities like cooking which accounts for about 3.8 million deaths normally, while outdoor pollution accounts for 4.2 million deaths.
The Resource person submitted that the dangers can be reduced if earth is taken care of by checkmating indoor and outdoor activities that cause pollution.
The Environmental Expert noted the absence of proper waste management and emphasized the dangers inherent in burning waste, which is inhaled by humans, there by interfering with health and well-being.
He advocates for the conversion of waste to wealth as it is done in developed countries.
Speaking on biodiversity loss, Professor Ukpebor described it as the disappearance of biological diversity or loss of animals, plants and ecosystem.
According to him, it is to a large extent caused by everything from fishing to habitat loss, deforestation to make way for development and desertification due to climate change.
The Environmental Specialist called for immediate actions to protect and restore the planet earth as he recommends the formulation of policies that encourages green energy to reduce gas emissions which impacts health negatively.
He urged government to formulate policies on population control, traffic control and renewable energy. He emphasized the need for Environmental Impact Assessment and the enforcement of regulatory standards and policies.
He stressed that protecting the earth and promoting healthy lifestyle is not the responsibility of government alone and charged individuals to consume less, reduce, reuse and recycle waste to cut down on what should have been disposed. He also advised individuals to educate others, conserve water and encourage the planting of trees which is a good source of food and oxygen.