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Expert Decries Non-Utilisation Of Ecological Fund

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The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kariala Konsult Nig. Ltd, Prof. Dagogo Fubara over the weekend expressed displeasure with the non-utilisation of the 2% ecological fund in the country and called for a reversal of the anomaly.

Prof. Fubara was speaking as chairman of the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) 22nd Annual General Meeting/Conference in Yenagoa Bayelsa State, with the theme “Green Economy: The Impacts of Unsustainable Environmental Practices”. He described the development as “unsustainable environment practice” that was counterproductive.

Prof. Fubara who advocated for the replacement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the sustainable development goals (SDGs) said the objectives of the MDGs were not being met.

While calling on the NES to make proposals to governments in the Niger Delta region on checking the menace of perennial flooding and other ecological challenges, he cautioned against the belief that the next flooding would occur in 50 years time.

According to him, the flood may reoccur within a three years time frame even as he called for the building of structures and barriers of higher platforms as was the norm.

He expressed worry at the practice where those not directly affected by the flood profited through the management of the camps even as Professor of Geodesy expressed the hope that the conference was not just a talk shop and gathering of scientists and experts.

He further called on NES to strive to making politicians in power see reason as to why the environment in the Niger Delta should be protected at all times.

In his presentation, the keynote speaker, Prof. Ndowa Lale of the University of Port Harcourt said the basis of men’s existence was the environment and regretted its mismanagement by man.

He revealed that even the decisions taken by our grand parents in the agricultural sector in the past, had affected the present generation negatively as evidenced by low crop yield.

He said the protection of different specie and the eco-system should be given priority as the survival of the human race was dependent on the wellbeing of the ecosystem. On the over dependence on the forests for protein need, the professor of Animal and Environmental Biology called for the control of consumption pattern through sustainable consumption processes.

He said it was evident that people prefer snails to cow meat which has led to snails being over picked from the forests.

“Every day people are selling snails and they are not farming them.

“They gather them from our forests, you have the smaller medium and large ones.

“They don’t give a damn because the people want to survive” he said.

He advised that if consumption pattern was not regulated by checking indiscriminate hunting and gathering, the end would be disastrous to the forests and animal specie especially, man. Earlier, the National president of NES, Engr. Olu Andah-Wai Ogosu described the event as significant as it was the first after the new executive came into office

He described the theme of the conference which also had as sub-themes “Crude Consequences, The Way Forward”, “biodiversity Conservation in the Niger Delta” The challenge of Artisanal Refineries and its Effects on the environment among others as thought provoking to both the physical Environment and the economic sector.

He said NES was in a process of revitalization and recovery and for the past one year was able to reposition itself not only within its membership but also in the eyes of stakeholders in the environmental sector and the public.

He expressed happiness that NES had been involved in public hearings organized by the National Assembly, Department of Petroleum Resources and submitted a memoranda on the PIB among others.

The NES boss expressed the desire of the organization to see that the environment was seen as a living system and the activities of individuals and corporate organisations and groups were checked to ensure that the environment did not die.

He emphasised that NES was opposed to unsustainable environment practices.

He advocated for tough and implementable regulations to ensure that the generation of today leaves a green economy for the future.

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We’re Hopeful Of Passage Of Water Resources Bill -Minister

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The Minister of Water Resources, Mr Suleiman Adamu, has expressed hope over the passage of the National Water Resources Bill before the National Assembly.
Adamu expressed the optimism while answering questions on the sidelines of a two-day training for Water Resources Correspondents, Editors, and News Analysts in the Nigerian Water Sector’  with theme, ‘Reporting Water in its Perspective’.
The Tide source reports that the training is to build capacity of reporters on water resources sector by having deep knowledge of terminologies and issues in the water sector.
The Tide also recalls that the Bill, which was introduced in the 8th Assembly, caused outrage as some Nigerians interpreted the law as a power grab by the federal Government.
“It is part of our roadmap as far as I am concerned. We will continue to engage with the National Assembly, now that they have come back from recess, we hope to engage.
“At the same time, we are talking to all other antagonists to allay the fears to accommodate whatever apprehension. We are very confident that we’ll get that bill passed,” the minister said.
He further stated that it was wrong for a section of Nigerians to completely criticize and condemn the whole Bill instead of pointing out areas that needs to be reconsidered.
“It doesn’t make sense if you have problem with the Bill; identify the key issue or problem if there is need for amendment instead to completely condemn just because of one or two items you are not satisfied with.
“In the National Assembly, you have public hearing, and we will still go back,” the minister said.

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Community Residents Flay Dumping Of Sachets, Bottles In Drainages

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Some residents of Eneka Community in Obio/Akpor  Local Government Area of Rivers State have condemned the indiscriminate dumping of water sachets and bottles in drainages and along the road in the community.
Speaking in an interview with The Tide in the community, they said the situation is not only an eyesore but responsible for incessant flooding being witnessed in the community.
Mr Chibuike Adim, indigene of Rumuoji Eneka condemned the practice, adding that it is this practice that blocked the gutters and caused flashed flooding in some areas in the community.
Adim called on the state government to save the community from the practice by constituting the tax force to check this habit.
He also said those who engaged in this practice are not only uneducated but also foolish, stressing that such people must be dealt with according to the law.
Also speaking, Miss Patience Odum also condemned the practice but added that there is no designated refuse dump site in the community.
Odum also urged for the provision of refuse receptacle in the area while the Rivers State Waste Management agency (RIWAMA) should also monitor the activities of the people.
Also speaking, Miss Alice Nsikak, a student of Rivers State University said the practice has become a big problem to the community as the entire drainages are blocked.
She stressed the need for sensitisation of the residence against the practice.
Nsikak also called on government to improve the method of refuse collection by providing waste bin to homes on the streets.
According to her, “people could be asked to pay little amount of money every month”, adding that the proposal will check the menace as well as check flash flooding in the community.
Also speaking with The Tide, Mr Ndubuise Ogom confirmed that dumping of plastic materials, refuge and pure water sachets in the drains is a very common practice in Eneka and also felt very bad about this practice.
This practice, added, must be stopped by government by promulgating laws to punish offenders. This if done, will prevent people taking part in such practice. He suggested, a fine of N1000 be slammad on those dumping refuge and plastic containers in the gutter.

By: Oribim Nyanaa Ibama, Elendu Obochi Esther & Inimgba Favour Victor

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UNESCO Laments Impending Collapse Of Biodiversity …Says Human Survival At Risk

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The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) has raised alarm at the unprecedented speed which biodiversity is collapsing globally.
The Director-General of UNESCO Ms Audrey Azoulay, expressed this concern at the UNESCO 33rd session of the the International Coordinating Council of the Man and the Biosphere (MAB-ICC) Programme in Abuja.
Biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth at all its levels, from genes to ecosystems, and can encompass the evolutionary, ecological, and cultural processes that sustain
The director-general said that with the impending collapse, not only was human survival at risk, but also the beauty and the diversity of the world.
She said that the collapse was from the treetops to the ocean depths and from vertebrates to invertebrates, adding that no species was spared.
“This is the spirit driving UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme. It is what makes it so pioneering and so valuable.
“We all have to stand on the earth itself and go with her at her pace. With this impending collapse, not only is human survival at risk, but also the beauty, the diversity of the world.
“But this collapse is not inevitable: there is still time to make peace with the planet,” she said.
According to her, there is the conviction that we can re-forge our relationship with nature, that we can reconcile development and environmental protection.
“We must harness the power of education to rebuild our relationship with nature. UNESCO is fully mobilised to ensure that the environment becomes a key curriculum component by 2025.
“This is in line with the commitment made by the 80th governments we gathered at the Berlin conference last May.
UNESCO, a custodian of knowledge and know-how concerning biodiversity, has been developing concrete solutions to environmental challenges for over 50 years through the MAB programme and its network of protected sites, covering nearly six per cent of the planet.
With 714 biosphere reserves in 129 countries, including transboundary sites, UNESCO seeks to reconcile humans and nature and demonstrate that it is possible to use biodiversity sustainably while fostering its conservation.
The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, said that the world was facing planetary crises of climate change and biodiversity loss.
According to her, this global loss of biodiversity is threatening the security of the world’s food supplies and the livelihoods of millions of people including indigenous people and local communities, especially in the African region.

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