EU Ambassador, Stakeholders End Interactive Session On Environmental Crisis

As the activities of man continue to rupture the ozone layer, leading to climate change and other environmental crises, several global networks and agencies have stepped up awareness campaigns on how to save the planet for future generations. This was the main objective of the visit of the Head of European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ambassador Michel Arrion and other environmental activists to the University of Port Harcourt on Thursday, September 15, 2016.

The visit which was facilitated by the Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies in concert with the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Foundation and other development partners had, Nowhere to Run: Nigeria's Climate and Environmental Crisis as its theme.
Speaking to an audience made up of Management, staff, students and environmental campaigners at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, the EU diplomat commended the students for turning up in large numbers for the event, stating that youths represented the most important audience for the heightened awareness campaign aimed at saving the environment. 
“I would want to make some facts very clear. The first point is that climate change is real–we have scientific evidence to prove it; so don't be deceived by those who still claim that it is not real. Another fact to note is that climate change is unique in the sense that it is a global phenomenon that impacts on all; whether developed or developing countries. We are at the beginning of global warming, so what we can do is to mitigate the effects, but climate change is unavoidable. It is uniquely irreversible. The only thing we can do is to deploy the right technology to mitigate its effects,” the Diplomat recommended.
Mr. Arrion, who disclosed that the European Union was fully committed to efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change on member states, revealed that a total of 189 countries had joined forces and resources to tackle the global environmental crises and would soon sign and ratify an agreement aimed at implementing and monitoring measures aimed at cushioning the adverse effects of global warming and its impact on humans.

Some of the steps designed to mitigate the effects of global warming, according to him, would include “proactive steps to stop gas flaring, resort to solar power and other better means of energy generation, use of mass transit and stoppage of motorcycles, cars and taxis which generate more carbon monoxide that degrade the environment, use of smart forms of agriculture, fertilizer application and reforestation,” the Ambassador told the audience, promising that the EU would play its own part to ensure success.
In his welcome address, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Anthony Ibe, who stood in for the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, commended the Head of the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS for personally coming to the University to sensitize the community on the dangers which climate change portended to future generations.
“We are here for one purpose–to create awareness about climate change. If we don't leave this fragile planet better than we met it, we should, at least, not degrade the environment for future generations coming after us. To stress how important this event is, the Ambassador came here ahead of the climate change week, which I consider a pleasant coincidence. As we listen to the environmental campaigners gathered here today, let us think of how to make positive change to preserve our little corners of the environment for the next generations” the Deputy Vice-Chancellor charged the audience. 
Foremost environmental activist, Nnimmo Bassey of the Health of Mother Earth Foundation introduced the frightening one hour film footage on the looming environmental crisis entitled: Nowhere to Run: Nigeria's Climate and Environmental Crisis.
Other activists, who spoke at the event which later dissolved into a technical session included the Director of Public Policy Initiative at the Shehu Musa Yar'Adua Foundation, Amara Nwankpa, Inemo Samiama and Christiana Idasefiema of the Stakeholder Democracy Network, including human rights lawyer and former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, Ledum Mitee. The team had earlier paid a courtesy visit to Management of the University at the Vice-Chancellor's Committee Room.


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