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World Environment Day: environmentalists stress the importance of nature to humans

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The Nigerian Environmental Society, Lagos State Chapter joined the rest of the world to commemorate the World Environment Day 2020 by gathering environmentalists, conservationists and other stakeholders in a webinar held on Thursday, 4th June 2020 to discuss nature and people.

In his presentation, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) who spoke on “We need nature, not the other way round” revealed that nature provide certain crucial services to man. Among them are food, feeding, clothes and shelter, environmental education, culture and identity, soil fertility, climate regulation, pollination, habitats, air quality and energy etc.

He said “Nature provides herbal medicines, which is considered as the best solution to treat diseases. It shows clearly how much of nature we need. This we should focus on and promote as it is easy to access and so affordable”.

He urged government and other stakeholders to engage in the preservation and restoration of wetlands and floodplains as flood management solution; protection of coastal wetlands/ecosystem is a natural risk management tool against coastal erosion; and reduce impact of drought.

He said further that “Ecosystems like forests and wetlands are critical to human wellbeing and provide enormous biodiversity conservation benefits. Degraded forests can be restored by planting efforts.”

While making his speech on “To care for ourselves, we must care for nature”, Mr. Olusola Adekoya, CEO of Shodex Garden stated that nature provides us with services that make our existence on earth possible and enjoyable. These services are called ecosystem services. Our earth is undergoing unprecedented degradation and as a result Mother Earth is dying so we need to heal her for our common good.

He said “Ecosystem services are our live line on this Earth without which we cannot survive as humans. All human needs and wants are centred around these services and the healthier the natural environment is the better we get these services.”
He is of the opinion that the way we care for ourselves and our families, and the way to sustain this future generations of human beings is to care for life as a whole.

He believes that our future depends on ecosystem everywhere.
“Let us explore more, a systematic perspective, holistic thinking and integrative consciousness that acknowledge our participatory intimacy with universe as fundamentally interconnected and continously transforming whole manifesting as patterns of every matter and mind, matter and spirit are not separate but intertwined” he added.

Prof. Babajide Alo, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, who spoke on “Biodiversity degradation: Time to re-build for People and Planet” has called on Lagos State Government, corporate bodies and individuals to embrace greening as a way of improving the health and wellbeing of the citizenry.

He also urged the state government to return and improve on the parks and garden beautification era to provide and make the state more natural and greening.

The Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) is a professional, non-governmental body which is committed to advocacy and actions towards environmental protection, sustainable environmental development and promotion of environmental professionalism within Nigeria.

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