From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
Fresh efforts were made last week to discourage people from all actions and attitude that are capable of increasing the sea level, with conservationists urging a change in lifestyles in order to save the environment.
They agreed, at an event in Lagos, to mark the 2014 Fauna and Flora Fancy Dress Competitions as part of this year’s World Environment Day (WED) celebration organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) that there is a need for sensitizing Nigerians, particularly youth and women in the rural communities, whom they perceived to be more vulnerable to climate change and its attendant impacts.
Setting the tune for the programme, member of NCF board of trustee, Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi noted that the low-lying nature of much of the coastal parts of Nigeria due to its natural geological setting constitutes a natural threat to the Nigerian environment. “Generally, rising to less than five metres above sea level, these coastal regions are highly prone to flooding even with small rises in sea level.
“Nigeria lies in the middle latitudes in the Gulf of Guinea. It is therefore characterized by generally high and strong wave systems that have more destructive impacts on the shoreline and constantly causing shoreline erosion. So, we must not add to the problem through our action hence, the need to create awareness on danger of rising sea level,” Majekodunmi said.
NCF Executive Director, Alade Adeleke called for the development of strategic plans, which will not only of recognizing children as key stakeholders in the policy-making process, but also promoting environmental education for sustainable development.
He said there is need to support to future leaders find innovative solutions to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change and environmental degradation in their lives and communities.
Adeleke said: “In the light of the serious challenges of rising sea level being face by the coastal cities, it is obvious that we all need to begin to evaluate our lifestyles, become more conscious of the impacts of the waste we dispose and rethink our options and see how we can make sure that we are not contributing to the rising in sea level.”
He advocated for a regulatory body on coastal land, with specific respect to habour on the usage of this fragile ecosystem that houses the major cities of the world.
In their presentations, with different costumes to depict the theme of the year, the children urged participants to save the environment by engaging in culture and attitude that do not have negative impact on the environment.
The participating students, in different age categories, competed in fauna and flora dress competitions to create awareness on reducing the sea level. The presentations were centered on the need to take corrective measures right from homes through proper waste disposal and clearing of drainages.