On June 5 every year, the world celebrates the World Environment Day, to raise awareness on the importance of nature and the need to inspire positive change towards the environmental protection.
Speaking during an event to mark this year's World Environment Day at the College of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (CNREM) of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), experts in environmental management called for sustained action towards the protection of the environment.
During his address at the event held on Friday at the Senator Anyim Pius Anyim Auditorium of MOUAU, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Franca Elechi Asawalam, described this year's celebration as significant, as the world continues to look for effective measures to save the environment.
In his opening remark, the Acting Dean of CNREM, Prof. A.U Ezealor, who was represented by Prof. M.C Dike, stressed the need for stakeholders in environmental protection in Nigeria to double their efforts, adding that the College is committed to environmental sustainability through its research which is part of it's progressive journey and contribution towards making the world a better place.
The dean re-assured that the College will continue to make efforts to champion, execute and support initiatives that would restore the ecosystem, as well as help in tackling some of the adverse effects of climate change and other challenges facing the environment.
In his keynote address, Prof. C.O. Nwoko called on the government agencies in Nigeria saddled with the responsibility of protecting the environment to sustain their efforts, stating that the country can no longer continue to ignore it's environment. Presenting an action plan for ecosystem restoration, the Professor of Restoration Ecology stated that the first step towards solving some of the environmental problems in Nigeria is the identification of these environmental issues, followed by spotting the drivers of environmental degradation.
Speaking further, Prof. C.O Nwoko added that there must be policy changes and implementation in ecosystem conservation and that plans and debates on how to protect the environment must be matched with action. According to Prof. Nwoko, this is in recognition of the fact that a more sustainable environment is key to building a better world for the present and future generations.
Other guests at the event who spoke on efforts made by their agencies to protect the environment were Engr. Izuchukwu Onwughara, the Project Coordinator of Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP), Abia State, and the Assistant Secretary of the Nigerian Environment Society (NES), Mrs. Celine Dalphine.
The highpoint of the event was a symbolic tree planting by the representative of the VC, Prof. Franca Elechi Asawalam.