Environmental Expert Advocates Sustainable Development For Prosperity In Niger Delta

An environmental expert and nature protagonist, Dr. Matthew Dore, has described sustainable development of the various components of the Niger Delta environment as key to the prosperity of the region.
Dore, made the assertion when he appeared as a Guest Speaker at the 2017 World Environment Day celebration organised by the Institute of Natural Resources, Environment and Sustainable Development (INRES) at the International Students Centre on Wednesday, June 7, 2017.
The Guest Lecturer whose paper was entitled: Connecting People to Nature: The Rivers State Challenge, observed that the delicate Niger Delta environment provided all the natural and mineral resources necessary for living a meaningful life. He regretted that existing environmental protection laws were obsolete, weak and needed to be updated to meet the challenges facing the environment today. He also said that due to the continued damages caused on the environment by multinational oil firms, most of the rare animals that hitherto lived in the region had become extinct. Dr. Dore appealed to all stakeholders to join hands to preserve the environment from further degradation.
Dore, who is also a Technical Adviser to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said: “The laws provided that the state shall protect and improve the environment and safeguard the water and land, forest and wild life of Nigeria.” He pointed out that the Niger Delta region harboured a high diversity of primates, including rare populations of endangered species that needed to be protected. The Guest Speaker called for concerted efforts by individuals and groups to protect the environment from further degradation to safeguard the health of the inhabitants.
Dr. Dore, who is also Coordinator of the Niger Delta Biodiversity Project further said: “The goal of the project is to contribute to the conservation and sustainable use of globally significant biological diversity in the Niger Delta. We are battling to achieve biodiversity management priorities in the Niger Delta oil and gas sector development policies and operations,” he said.
Declaring the event open, Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale, said that the celebration aimed at raising global awareness about the importance of maintaining a healthy environment. He pointed out that the theme of this year’s celebration stressed the need to raise awareness about the need to maintain a healthy environment for the benefit of the inhabitants.
Represented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) Professor Regina Ogali, the Vice-Chancellor stated that to achieve a habitable environment, the United Nations recommended an annual celebration to address the huge environmental challenges such as wastage and loss of food, deforestation and global warming, amongst others. He urged policy-makers to improve on strategies geared towards reducing human activities that would degrade the natural environment through adequate planning, sensitisation and other contingency measures aimed at tackling the growing environmental problems.”
Earlier in his welcome address, Director of the Institute, Professor Ben Ndukwu, said that the World Environment Day celebration was “the United Nation’s principal vehicle for raising worldwide awareness and action on the environment. Over the years, the event has grown to a broad global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated by stakeholders in over 100 countries.” He said that the day also served for people to do something positive to the environment by galvanising individual actions into a collective power that could generate positive impact on the planet.
In their separate goodwill messages, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Professor, Gordian Obute, who was represented by Professor Aduabobo Hart and Director of the Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Development Studies, Professor Prince Mmom, stressed the need for continued enlightenment and sensitisation of the populace on the need to protect the environment to sustain present and future generations.
The event which featured a question and answer session was preceded by an awareness rally tagged: Walk-for-Nature from Delta Park to the Permanent Site of the University, where a symbolic tree was planted around the Convocation Arena to commemorate the event.

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