A Nigerian environmentalist, Mr Desmond Majekodunmi has urged the Federal government to treat Climate Change as an emergency following the continuous destruction of nation’s forests.
“Nigeria has destroyed more forest than any other country has done “ he noted.
His reaction came as President Muhammadu Buhari last week signed into law the Climate Change Bill Passed by the National Assembly.
“The signed climate change law, is a big deal for Nigeria an oil-dependent nation which is also ranked as one of the most vulnerable countries to climate change in the world according to the UN. “
Mr Majekodunmi expressed the belief that the first step for Nigeria is to be the solution in protecting the environment rather than be the problem.”
“The most urgent attention for the Nigerian government before anything else is to protect our forests. We have forest reserves and we have game guards. The latest report we got from one of the big reserves in Cross River state was that about 200 hundred lorries of wood were moved everyday mainly by Chinese companies”, he said.
Mr Majekodunmi further identified the biggest issue for Nigeria as that of the economy, based on the main pollutant being oil and gas. So, this in turn, meant that the country has to start a transition process from the oil and gas in order to get it right.
“It has reached the stage whereby if we continue with this global warming pollution what now happens is that a big mangroves, particularly important for Lagos, because mangrove is very good for absolving the carbon dioxide causing the problem. But if we continue to sand fill and destroy too much of the mangroves, eventually, the mangrove itself will start to emit carbon dioxide. This in a way, turnaround from being an absorber to emitter. Once that happens, there would be no stop.”
On the benefits of protecting the environment, Mr Desmond Majekodunmi said Nigeria has a lot to benefit.
“We make our environment healthier, we make it cleaner and we make it safer. To achieve that, we must join in planting hundreds of millions of trees, in fact, all countries all over the world need to plant hundreds of millions of trees immediately.
From 2021 to 2031 is just 10 years and right now we have not been able to reduce it and if by 2031, we are not able to reduce it 2031, it will trigger off the negative effects such as flood and other disasters and we would not be able to stop them “.
Climate change is the biggest threat facing humanity today.
According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world must cut its carbon dioxide emissions to net zero by 2050 in order to prevent global warming of 1.5°C, or likely more, above pre-industrial levels.