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HOMEF Unveils Socio-Ecological Charter, Tackles Environmental Challenge

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HOMEF Unveils Socio-Ecological Charter, Tackles Environmental Challenge

Stella Peter

The Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has unveiled a book, titled “Nigeria Socio-Ecological Alternative Charter”, which contains a call for transformation of the country’s ecological landscape.

Presenting the book on Thursday at the first Nigeria Socio-Ecological Alternatives Convergence, held in Abuja, the Executive Director of HOMEF, Dr Nnimmo Bassey, said the Charter presents a clear roadmap towards achieving a collective vision for the ecological wellbeing of the nation, firmly grounded in the values of fairness, inclusivity, and long-term sustainability.

He said Nigeria is fortunate to have been bestowed with an exceptional climate and ecosystem, but the natural habitat is currently facing a crucial turning point due to the worsening effects of humans caused by climate change and biodiversity loss occasioned by destructive extraction.

Bassey stated that ecological threats are manifest everywhere in the country, stressing that “From the ecological catastrophe of oil and gas extraction in the Niger Delta that has reduced the region to one of the most polluted places in the world, to the rising impacts of solid mineral extraction that is polluting lands and water at an unbelievable rate, Nigeria is one huge ecological time bomb.”

The HOMEF boss explained that the Nigeria Socio-Ecological Alternatives Convergence was co-created with civil society organisations, front-line communities, activists, and academics as a space for thinking, and planning to drive an alternative ecological blueprint for Nigeria, an alternative ecological approach that respects the right of mother earth and protects the planet and its people.

He said, “The Charter represents a powerful call for a fundamental transformation of Nigeria’s socio-ecological landscape. It outlines a vision and plans for creating a sustainable, fair, and balanced society that prioritises the well-being of individuals and the preservation of the natural world”.

In his keynote address, “The Dynamics of Climate and Impacts of Migration, Conflict and Food Security in Nigeria,” Prof Gundu said pollution in the industrial world is increasing the challenges of climate change.

Gundu, a Vice Chancellor of the University of Mkar, Benue State, called for broader sensitization on climate justice to reduce future epidemics resulting from man’s attacks on the environment.

Also, in his paper presentation, titled “Does the Tragedy of the Commons Explain the Lessons Derived from the Economic History of Nigeria and Resource Extraction?, Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba wondered why gas flaring has not ended in the Niger Delta region, even when the world is struggling to tackle issues relating to climate.

Prof Nwajiuba wondered, “Why are top-of-science methods and international best practices for spills in petroleum-bearing communities and routes not used in Nigeria?

He said, “Except we are in denial. Nigeria has manifested an attitude that anything goes in dealing with oil prospecting companies for a long time. Most companies adopt or are not allowed to follow the rules and the checklist. The IOCs working in Nigeria already know how things are done here. They, therefore, do what they cannot do elsewhere in Nigeria.

They pay lip service to what is expected of them and even what they may have agreed to do. When they pollute Nigeria’s environment and do that elsewhere, the attitude and approach is different”, Nwajiuba queried.

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