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HOMEF Demands Action on World Environment Day

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HOMEF Demands Action on World Environment Day

By Oke-Oghene Orogun, Benin City

On the occasion of this year’s World Environment Day, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, a renowned environmental activist and the Executive Director of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, has urged the Federal Government to take decisive action by declaring a state of emergency on environmental issues plaguing the country.

Dr Bassey said this call to action underscores the urgent need for government intervention to address the escalating environmental challenges of deforestation, drought and land degradation.

In his statement, Dr. Bassey remarked, “As we join the global community to observe World Environment Day, it is imperative that we consider a state of emergency on the environment.” He underscored the significance of this year’s theme, ‘Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience,’ and its relevance to communities affected by environmental degradation due to extractive industries and pollution.

Dr. Bassey emphasized the importance of this day, stating, “This year’s celebration urges us to reflect on our stewardship duty towards Nature, the environment, and all living beings.” He criticized the current “predatory and destructive relationships” that threaten our well-being and called for a change in perspective and action.

Highlighting the environmental challenges, Dr. Bassey said, “Steps must be taken to halt deforestation, biodiversity erosion, and land degradation.” He warned that without serious climate action, “humanity will remain on a downward spiral to multiple crises that are already plaguing the world today.”

Reflecting on the environmental state of Africa, Dr. Bassey noted, “Parts of Africa are ravaged by environmental degradation, water stress, and drought,” with Nigeria particularly affected by desertification and other ecological harms.

He continued, “Nigeria needs an emergency environmental restoration plan across the board as the only way to build resilience and ensure a safe future.” Dr. Bassey called for immediate steps by the Nigerian government to ensure the proper clean-up of polluted lands, restoration of the same, and payment of compensation for damage suffered.

Dr. Bassey also warned against complacency, stating, “We must wake up from the futile dream that the earth can be recklessly exploited without dire consequences.” He advocated for handling Nature’s gifts with “gratitude and care.”

The Executive Director further highlighted the need for government accountability and community engagement, noting, “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 the environment are designed or implemented.”

Dr. Bassey concluded with a call to action, “We should change our policies and choices to live sustainably in harmony with nature.” He reminded us that “the planet is our only home and that her resources are finite.”

Dr. Bassey’s statement on World Environment Day is a stark reminder of the urgent need for environmental policy reform and the collective responsibility to safeguard our planet for future generations.

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