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Earth Day: eHealth Africa cautions against aggravating global warming, climate change consequences

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To commemorate the Global Earth Day, Nigerians have been cautioned against contributing negatively to the environment through activities that will aggravate global warming and climate change consequences.

Executive director eHealth Africa Juliet Odogwu gave the admonition on Friday in Abuja to commemorate the global Earth Day and Tree Planting campaign.
She indicated that the idea behind the 2022 commemoration themed #InvestInOurPlanet, is to encourage governments and citizens to take concrete steps towards following more sustainable practices and taking more of an active role in the Earth’s wellbeing.


“We have a long way to go as Nigerians in terms of enhancing our environment and reducing our behaviours that are contributing to climate change and global warming.
According to her, “We have individual responsibility, a collective responsibility as Nigerians to do our bit in making sure we have a clean environment and a clean planet. 

“Not only Tree Planting but every other thing we can do to make sure we use efficient energy sources, like renewable energy and solar power, we should make sure we don’t litter the environment in other to keep the environment clean.
“Those are little ways we can contribute to investing in our planet so that we can be good stewards of our environment.”
This campaign is important to create public awareness about rising temperatures, global warming, and climate change. 
“As an organisation, eHealth Africa is committed to ensuring that they put measures in place that will enhance environmental sustainability by reducing carbon footprint. 
“We have also worked towards reducing our carbon footprint in the past through the use of solar systems for electricity. 
“eHealth Africa continues to be a champion for renewable energy in public health and we ensure that in all our physical infrastructure projects, we incorporate efficient energy solutions and encourage all of our partners and stakeholders to do so as well. 
“By going solar, we aim to reduce the use of fossil fuels and limit greenhouse gas emissions” 

“For eHA, this is not just a tree planting exercise. It is a campaign to create public awareness about the need to be good stewards of our planet. Our environment is important to us, as individuals or as organizations, we depend 100% on our ecosystems for survival.”
“We are here to do our little bit by contributing to the theme for this year’s Earth Day which is invest in our planet 
We are here for a Tree planting exercise. Today we will be planting 200 plants in Abuja and 300 trees in Kano as part of our contribution to investing in our planet

“Tree planting is one of the cheapest and most effective ways that we can contribute to a cleaner planet, removing carbon Dioxide from the environment and at the same time beautifying our environment

“We are gathering out here as a community development exercise as an effort to mitigate climate change and global warming within the environment and again we are doing our bit to beautify our society

“If we don’t do our bid we won’t be able to thrive  talk more of an environment that is fit for the future generation to survive
We are here to celebrate world health day to invest in our planet.
Deputy director Parks and Recreation FCT administration, Okpe Charles said, the environment is very important, “we live in an environment and it is our responsibility that we ensure we sustain the environment to be clean, we know the importance of trees to human beings. That is what we are doing. 
“It is gratifying that eHealth Africa members are participating in this years Earth Day and at the same time commemorating it with planting of trees  knowing fully well to importance of trees to humanity.
“It beholves everybody to sustain the environment not only FCT alone and one very important way of mitigating against consequences of climate change is the planting of trees. 
“Take away oxygen there will be no life and that is one basic benefit of trees. Where is no tree, you are inviting desertification, erosion and many things that can work against the environment. The environment you failed to protect will hunt you tomorrow.”

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Niger set to host 2023 Green Economy Summit

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***To reposition the state for sustainable development

Niger State is set to host first ever National Green Economy Summit, billed to hold in October this year.
The summit which coincides with the United Nations Day as well as the climate advocacy group, 350 org’anization’s International Day for Climate Action, underscored the resolve to partake in achieving collective global goals through responsible local action, will open the state to the outside world.
A statement by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Alhaji Abubakar Usman indicated that the decision by the state to host the all important summit was informed by the realization that the Green Economy Summit will reposition the State for sustainable socioeconomic development, and to boldly make Niger State the green investment hub of Nigeria.
According to him, the summit will bring together participants including policymakers, captains of industry, academia, local and international sector experts, NGOs, international development partners, investors, and local communities.
The statement pointed out that the summit will pave the way for an inclusive green economy and a sustainable future for the state.
According to statement, the theme of the summit “Sustainable Future: Harnessing Green Assets and Innovation for Niger State’s Prosperity”, underscores the Governor’s holistic vision for the future of the state, one that embraces sustainability as a core principle.
“It recognizes the untapped potentials of its green assets. It positions innovation as a key enabler in unlocking the state’s green economy potential and achieving prosperity for all its residents”
The statement added that “by adopting the theme, the Niger State Green Economy Summit aims to inspire collaboration, knowledge sharing, and concrete actions that will lead to a greener, more sustainable, and prosperous future for the state and its people”.

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Nasarawa govt takes proactive step against flooding, clear drainages

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From Abel Abogonye, Lafia

Following predictions of impending flooding Nasarawa State Government has embarked on massive evacuation and clearance of the drainage system across the 13 Local Government Areas of the state to curtail the effect.

Permanent Secretary (PS), Nasarawa State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources Malam Garba Mohammed made the disclosure while briefing newsmen on Saturday in Lafia after the June sanitation exercise.

The Permanent Secretary expressed displeasure with the attitude of some residents who dispose their refuge in the drains thereby obstructing easy passage of water.

According to him, the ministry has decided to evacuate drains for now, however in subsequent months house and shop owners would be held responsible for any blockage within their premises.

According to him, given the way flood has ravaged and is still ravaging communities in many states including some parts of Nasarawa State, the ministry will sensitized the people against any activity that can block the water ways.

On this month’s compliance, the Permanent Secretary expressed satisfaction as he applauded the traditional rulers, Chairmen of Area Councils as well as the security agencies for the success of the exercise.

He declared that 90 per cent of the residents complied by locking up their shops and businesses to clean the surrounding during the exercise.

Meanwhile 39 persons suspected to have violated environmental sanitation laws in Lafia and Karu Local Government Areas (LGAs) were arrested and prosecuted by various mobile courts in the respective LGAs.

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Why marine protected areas matter

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By Azeez Mojeed Olusola

While working on my final paper for my environmental management course, I was pleased to share with my class that the Philippines pioneered a community-based approach to marine protected area management. I spent a whole season with Canadian classmates and a few others, like me, who were overseas. During this time, I represented real-life examples of climate change issues like Typhoon “Paeng” wreaking havoc on Luzon. The module on agroforestry, allowed me to share examples from my little farm where we got yields from cacao trees we planted five years ago between coconut and other native trees. Learning that we had a head start in marine protected areas management gave me a little sense of pride. We’re not so bad, and we aren’t always climate victims.

As early as 1974, the Philippines set a framework for coral reef management in Sumilon and Apo islands where a “no take zone” was established. This resulted in protecting the coral reef habitats, enhancing biodiversity, and increasing fish yields for traditional fishermen in the community. Not all countries with marine protected areas (MPAs) commit to strict no “take zone” declarations. In the Philippines, we do. And what we lack in monitoring resources, we make up for in community management and involvement.

The jewel of our MPAs is Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park, 150 kilometers southeast of Puerto Princesa City, Palawan. It was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1993. For perspective, Canada did not establish its first MPA until 2003. However it had other legal frameworks for environmental protection through its Parks departments. In terms of a pure objective to protect habitats and biodiversity, the Philippines was a pioneer. Examples are Apo, Sumilon and Tubbataha.

Tubbataha protects an area of almost 100,000 hectares of high quality marine habitats with two big coral atolls and a reef. It is a rare example of a diverse and almost pristine coral reef with a 100 meter perpendicular wall and lagoon. Over 360 species of coral and almost 700 species of fish are found here. The presence of apex predators such as the hammerhead shark is an indicator of good ecological balance. Tubbataha is an important natural habitat for in-situ conservation of biological diversity.

National policies helped strengthen the protection of marine resources. In 1988, Tubbataha was established by Presidential Proclamation 306 as the first marine national park by President Corazon Aquino. In 1995, President Fidel V. Ramos established the Presidential Task Force on Tubbataha Reefs through Memorandum 128 composed of government agencies, private sector and civil society. In 2009, after almost 20 years of managing the site as a no-take zone, Tubbataha was declared a Protected Area under the Nipas Law through Republic Act 10067. This prohibited exploration, exploitation, or use of non-renewable resources, conducting of bioprospecting without a permit, introduction of exotic species, to hunt, catch, fish, kill, take resources.

Despite the laws and policies protecting Tubbataha, a US Navy warship, USS Guardian, ran aground on the northern tip of the southern atoll in 2013. It damaged over 2,300 square meters of reef and took 72 days for the ship to be extracted. Also in 2013, an illegal Chinese fishing vessel, Min Ping Yu, ran aground on Tubbataha’s northern atoll. Only one somewhat good thing came out of this incident. It allowed the International Maritime Organization’s declaration in 2017 of Tubbataha as a sensitive area to be avoided by maritime routes, giving the area an extra layer of protection. This designation is a big breakthrough because it protects Tubbataha from the impact of noise, pollution and further potential shipping accidents.

According to a International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report in 2020, Tubbataha is “excellent and effective at planning, outreach, enforcement, and implementation of conservation and regeneration efforts.” Tubbataha addressed ecological issues early by declaring it a no-take reserve in 1988, and continued to support it by legislation and international declarations. There are still some threats that persist from local anthropogenic activity, which are minimized by resident ranger patrol and global impacts of climate change.

While the establishment of MPAs had the initial objectives of protecting and restoring biodiversity within the specific area for a long-term period, it is now found to be an effective climate change mitigation and adaptation principle as well. When non-climate stressors are reduced in an MPA, such as prohibiting fishing, exploration and bottom-trawling, there is an added benefit of storing carbon within, therefore reducing impacts on climate. Blue carbon is carbon that is stored within marine and coastal ecosystems. Oceans store more blue carbon per unit area than terrestrial forests. Protected mangroves, marshes, seagrass beds also provide climate change adaptation benefits like protecting coastal communities and providing food security. When coastal areas are protected under MPAs, they continue to play their role as carbon sinks. MPAs with complex, intact ecosystems resist and recover better from climate disturbances compared to unprotected areas.

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