The just concluded cli
mate change conference in Paris, France has demonstrated the commitment of the world towards tackling the incidence of global warming.
The conference which ended with landmark decisions also raised the hope of some countries, especially developing countries, of an end to climate change.
However, Environmentalists and other key stakeholders across the world believed that the key decisions reached at the conference will succeed, if there is enough political will by global leaders, especially major industrialized countries to implement them.
Tugged COP 21 the conference brought together Ministers of Environment from over 190 countries to discuss and find ways of addressing the issue of climate change which is threatening the continued existence of mother earth.
Key decisions or goals reached include; reduction in green house emission by countries across the world “specially, countries agreed to keep global temperature below two degree Celsius.
“It also agreed to spend the sum of one hundred billion dollars yearly, starting from 2020 to help developing countries”.
French Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabious, who chaired the session, described the deal as a historic turning point.
On her part, South African Minister of Environment, Edna Molewa also described the deal as a major breakthrough for both developing and developed countries.
Molewa who spoke along with the Maltese Minister of Environment, said that both developing and developed countries made commitment to save the earth from destruction.
She also described the deal as the first ever approves climate change agreement as well as “a last chance to avet climate change”.
Meanwhile, Environmentalists say, the deal will work, if developed countries stop seeing pollution as an instrument that has commercial value.
A cross section of Environmental Right Activists who reacted to the conference decisions in an interview with The Tide, said that, the buck lies on the tables of developed countries to prove their commitment towards the survival of the earth.
According to them, the Paris conference will succeed, if developed countries stopped aiding and abetting industrial pollution, adding that previous conferences did not achieved results because of the narrow interest of some developed countries.
Dr Fidelis Allen, a lecturer in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies, University of Port Harcourt, who reacted on the outcome of the conference in an interview with The Tide, said that as long as developed countries see pollution as an instrument of commercial value, the deal will not work.
According to him, “There are fears that developed countries have decided on market instrument on mode of addressing climate change.
“When you make pollution a commodity to be traded in the market, you will not want to cut pollution”, he said.
He said that until countries such as the United States of America, Britain, China and India, which are worst Green House emission countries are ready to cut pollution, the situation will continue.
According to him, “when you make money from pollution, every channels towards its reduction will be blocked”, adding that the concept of climate change is helping few.
capitalist countries who speculate over profit. The University don however described the deal as a welcome development, especially the decision to keep global temperature below 2 degree Celsius in view of the danger that awaits humanity, if the temperature exceeded 2 degree Celsius.
He also commended the decision to set aside one hundred billion dollars to funding developing countries.
Dr Allen particularly urged Nigerian government to toe the line of COP 21 conference by stopping gas flaring in the country, stressing that this would go a long way to check the impact of pollution in the oil and gas sector producing areas of the country.
According to him, the activities of the fossil fuel industry is destroying the environment, adding that these can be seen in the areas of rising sea level which is threatening the existence of coastal communities in the Niger Delta.
Another Environmental Right Activist, Mr John Akinnuba described the key goals reached at the conference as a welcome development but urged for its effective implementation.
Mr Akinnuba said that, the world has reached a stage where it can no longer run away from climate change, stressing that decisions reached must be effectively implemented to save Mother Earth from destruction.
“I welcomed the decisions reached. It will help the Earth, if key actors in the agreement are committed to its implementation”.
On his part, Mr Steve Obodoekwe who works with the Centre for Environment Human Right And Development (CEHRD) also expressed doubt on the willingness of developed countries to effectively implement decisions reached at COP 21 conference as previous conferences have failed to achieve results.
Mr Obodoekwe however said that, he welcomed the commitments and called on countries across the world to abide by it.
Others also spoke on the same vein.
However, following the French foreign minister’s description of the deals as “Historic Turning Point”, it is now left for countries across the world to be wholly committed and total in its implementation as it is only by so doing that we can save Mother Earth from the impending calamity.
We’re Hopeful Of Passage Of Water Resources Bill -Minister
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.
Community Residents Flay Dumping Of Sachets, Bottles In Drainages
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
UNESCO Laments Impending Collapse Of Biodiversity …Says Human Survival At Risk
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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