WED: Declare state of emergency on environment – CSO tells Nigerian govt

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 WED signed by Dr Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director, HOMEF).

HOMEF, an ecology-focused advocacy group, noted that 2024 World Environment Day is dedicated to communities whose lands and livelihoods have been lost to extractivism and pollution.

The theme for 2024 WED is ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience’.

According to HOMEF, this year’s celebration urges Nigerians to reflect on their duty to nature, the environment and all living beings, rather than being predatory and destructive to the environment.

HOMEF urged 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 due to multiple crises that are already plaguing the world.

The CSO said today is a good time for reflection and a change of direction,” the statement reads in part.

Bassey noted that the 2024 WED offers Nigeria a template for socioeconomic and environmental reexamination and action.

He explained that parts of Africa are ravaged by environmental degradation, water stress and drought and Nigeria is particularly, affected by desertification and other ecological harms.

“As we celebrate World Environment Day, we remind ourselves that our environment has been plagued with destructive activities, especially 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 stated.

He warned 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.”

HOMEF observed that the World Environment Day is an important day for governments to resolve to ensure that communities are fully informed, consulted and their consent received before projects that impact of the environment are designed or implemented.

The NGO maintained that it must never be forgotten that these communities continuously tackle the impacts of the multidimensional ecological crisis in their unsupported and vulnerable state and deserve to be protected.

“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,” HOMEF stated.

WED: Declare state of emergency on environment – CSO tells Nigerian govt

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