What we need to do to save damaged eco-system - VC

Miriam Obierika
Peter's at WED event

The Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria, Prof. Olufemi Peters, has said sustainability and restoration of the eco-system is paramount towards a better and qualitative lives for both the present and future generations.

He stated this at the 2021 World Environment Day, themed: “Restoration of the Eco-system,” organised by the Department of Environmental Sciences, Faculty of Sciences, which took place at the university headquarters, Abuja.

Peters, in his speech, said to reduce eco-system degradation, “we must begin to reimagine what sustainability of the eco-system will look like by finding ways to work with the natural system and not against them. We can do this by riding bicycles or carpooling instead of flying in jets or planes.”

He pointed out that recreating the eco-system is another way of preserving the environment, explaining that “in recreating the eco-system, we need to re-plan, protect, and seek to prevent, halt and reverse the degradation of the eco-system through resilient and sustainable systems and to do this we need to recreate greener cities and enhance bio diversity.’’

The Vice-Chancellor said the eco-system could be restored majorly through tree planting. “It is one of the greatest ways to restore the environment, the roots of the trees stabilise eco-system and structure, while the leaves that litter the floor enrich the soil.’’

He urged everyone to imbibe the principles and tenets of protecting the environment with or without reminders.

Prof.  Monioluwa Olaniyi of the Faculty of Sciences, in her lecture, titled “Eco-system restoration and what we need to do,” listed and explained factors affecting the eco-system, saying that due to human activity on water and land, it has led to pollutions that, in turn, affect living organisms in the water and land. 

She noted that deforestation and prolonged period of drought have caused an increased dissertation, which can affect farming activities and food production.

“We must protect our land from deforestation and encourage tree planting. We must also encourage restoration of our wetlands to prevent the eco-system from being disturbed,’’ she said.

The former dean of the faculty, added that NOUN community must also play its part by engaging in activities such as ecological gardens to enhance the ecosystem.

Earlier, the dean of the faculty, Prof. Saheed Ajibola, in his welcome address, said the World Environmental Day was marked to educate the public on issues of concern and mobilize political resources to address global problems, restore the eco-system and combat climate changes. 

“As humans, we can influence our environment positively or negatively; negatively by mining activities and felling of trees without replacement and positively by creating awareness on eco-system restoration as we are doing today,’’ he said.

The event climaxed with a symbolic tree planting, led by the Deputy Director of Abuja Environmental Protection Board, Mrs. Rebecca Mamven, who noted that eco-system restoration can succeed if everyone plays a part by planting trees in their respective homes and environs.

The department's head, Dr. Emily Iduseri, in her vote of thanks, thanked the Vice-Chancellor, the paper presenter and everyone that graced the event.