Environmentalists have called for a change of behaviour that is contributing negatively to the environment, in order to save the earth.
The experts, who are members of the Nigerian Environmental Society, Abia State chapter, made the call on Saturday in Umuahia, in commemoration of the World Earth Day.
The state Chairman of the environmental society, Uchenna Onyeizu, said the day was set aside to remind everyone of their behaviour towards the Mother Earth.
He said the day was identified to create awareness on the rampant increase of pollution, global warming, deforestation and destruction of environmental resources across the board.
Mr Onyeizu, while condemning people’s negative behaviour towards the environment, said “your local action has a global effect.”
According to him, “the things we do locally at our immediate environment have one or two impacts on the global environment and when the global environment is highly deteriorated, definitely, it will affect the individual.”
He said: “When you carelessly manage your waste and pollute your environment, they have a quiet way of getting back to your food chain and getting back to poisoning you, the polluter.
“Our behaviour, maybe, our orientation did not put into high consideration the environment sensitivity in our growing up.”
Mr Onyeizu, who is a university lecturer, said “We were also looking at Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which had to do with how we make use of our resources so that our future generation could also have enough to use or exploit.
“We are not saying don’t use environmental resources for our survival as humans, but what we are saying is do we sit down together and agree on how to make use of these resources for sustainability?”
Another member of the Nigerian Environmental Society, Okechukwu Ogbonnaya, who chaired the event, called for urgent action to protect the earth from collapsing.
“We need to change our orientation about how we manage our natural resources, exploit or dispose our wastes,” he said.
Mr Ogbonnaya, while admitting that the government had good policies regarding environmental protection, said it was not doing enough in enforcing the laws.
The state treasurer of the association, Chioma Nwakanma, said there was need to invest in science, innovation, storytelling and education that help safeguard species for healthier existence.
Ms Nwakanma, an associate professor at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, said many species of plants and animals live in the environment, but their well-being were being threatened by human activities.
“What stories do you tell your children and the people around you on how we have conserved our planet earth?
“We must invest in research, conservation and stories that educate the people for a better tomorrow that is sustainable,” she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme for the 2023 World Earth Day is “Invest in Our Planet”. It is a continuation of the 2022 campaign.
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