Organization for Positive Sustainability Culture in Nigeria (OPSCN) and the Cross River Environment and Carbon Emission Board in collaboration with relevant MDAs in the state with support from Birdlife International / Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund Regional Implementation Team has sensitized the public in the Calabar metropolis on the need to imbibe a positive attitude towards conserving and preserving the environment as part of activities to commemorate the 2017 World Environment Day. The day which was marked with the theme “Connecting People with Nature” saw the organization carry out a sensitization walk for nature, around some major streets in Calabar, a clean up exercise of the Ika Ika Oqua (marian) market, an essay competition for secondary schools, on the topic: “All the trees are losing their leaves”, a tree planting exercise for the establishment of a green park at the Cross River State university of technology (CRUTECH) as well as radio and television talk shows on “HOW” to connect with nature sustainably.
The Founder/Trustee of OPSCN, Dr. Chiji Onwuchekwa described the World Environment Day as one which needs to be taken seriously as the climate is degrading by the day. According to him, “it does not only end with legislation and celebrations, but sensitization of the general public on the dangers of some human activities is key, as man is the major propagator of climate change”. This according to him is what necessitated the walk and clean up of the Marian market as most people tend to learn and understand more when the message is being put into practice.
For Rt. Hon Paddy Uguge, Chairman, Cross River Environment and Carbon Emission Board, “the major challenges in the bid to fight climate change and environmental hazards is lack of awareness and hence the reason partnering organizations deemed it fit to mark World Environment Day and reach out to over two million people across the state creating awareness and educating them on the right measures to take in combating environmental issues”. Environmental issues are issues of grave concern, he added.
The presence of Miss Africa 2016, Miss Loretta Mendez, at the clean-up exercise drew more attention while passing out the necessary message to onlookers.
Miss Mendez, who is also the Cross River State Climate Change Ambassador disclosed that “three things are worthy of note that could help mitigate climate change issues: The need to reduce deforestation and pollution, re-use some materials and recycle waste”.
She laid more emphasis on deforestation which she said is very common in Africa, adding that if we must take from the environment, then we must give back, thereby encouraging tree planting.
While addressing newsmen Ms. Ruth Akagu during the market cleanup stressed on the importance of our environment and the need to connect to nature using the World Environment Day 2017 celebration as a platform. She noted that sustainable living begins with every individual and highlighted the need for attitudinal changes towards proper waste disposal. She informed the general public on the activities of the Birdlife international / CEPF RIT in the region.
She went further to highlight on the CEPF investment niche in the Guinean Forests which Is to provide Civil Society Organizations at grassroots, national and international level with the capacity and resources to establish and sustain multi-stakeholder partnerships that demonstrates models for sustainable growth, target the poorest populations and achieve priority conservation outcomes.
Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment with effects predicted by scientists in the past to result from global climate change now occurring.
The potential future effects of global climate change, according to research, will include longer periods of drought in some regions and an increase in the number, duration and intensity of tropical storms, rains and earth tremors, hence the need to reconnect with the environment and saving it from depletion is necessary. WED 2017 was enormous, enlightening and objective. and reached the high and low tiers of the state affording Cross Riverians the chance to connect to, and appreciate nature.
More photos from the event>>>
By Missang Akpet.