The Federal Ministry of Environment says it will implement relevant actions to achieve sustainable development and environmental protection in the country.

The Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Mrs Fatima Mede, gave the assurance in Abuja on Friday at a symposium organised to mark the 2015 World Environment Day (WED).

Mede said that the government had established various institutions and mechanisms to address specific issues to ensure environmental protection.

She said that the ministry had also fashioned out relevant policies and action plans to address some environmental challenges such as drought and desertification, erosion and climate change, among others.

According to her, the government has also, through the ministry and her agencies, developed relevant environmental laws and regulations to address some of these challenges.

The permanent secretary, however, urged the stakeholders to take specific actions to ensure they changed from unsustainable patterns of production and consumption.

“ We must endeavour to reduce our carbon footprints and enhance our biodiversity. We must minimise the amount of waste we generate at home and in our work place.

“We must always remember the 5Rs: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle, Recover and Replace, and we must come up with innovative ways to produce and consume with care.

“If we all genuinely commit ourselves to doing what is right to achieve sustainable development and environmental protection, we will go a long way in protecting the planet.

“We will go a long way to making this planet a safer and healthier place for our present and future generations,’’ she said.

Mede further said that promoting sustainable patterns of consumption and production was one of the three objectives of, and essential requirement for sustainable development.

In his remarks, Mr John Chukwu, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Capital Territory Administration, stated that reality demanded that we have to change the way we do things.

“If we don’t, we will live with the consequences: devastating climate change, more chaos, and more extinction.

“Our quality of life, the quality of the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe cannot survive over time if we don’t embrace positive change.

“Also, the landscapes we live cannot survive over time if we fail to embrace positive change in our relationship with the environment.

“Worldwide, climate change is becoming an alarming matter day by day.

“The day provides us with the opportunity to come up with policies to improve energy efficiency, create alternative energy sources, and improve forest conservation and eco-friendly consumption among others things,’’ he said.

Chukwu said that the planet might be the only place in the universe where life exists; it is a precious thing, and it must be protected and nurtured, not turn apart for short term gains.

“It is high time we joined hands with the Federal Ministry of Environment in trying to save and secure our beautiful planet,’’ he said.

Also speaking, Mr Alex Nwegbu, the Director-General, Nigerian Geological Survey Agency, urged the stakeholders to seek proper knowledge about the environment.

Nwegbu said that the agency was implementing some projects that would help them to understand the environment.

The director-general said that with the knowledge of geological survey, they would be able to manage the environment properly.

“The knowledge we provide is very critical in assessing the environment, we produce geological maps and we have carried out studies on coast and marine environment.

“We have studied the coastal and marine environment to establish the pollutant flushing potential of the eco-system of the Niger-Delta,’’ he said.

Nwegbu, however, urged the ministry to be pro-active in tackling environmental challenges, adding that to win war against those challenges, it must engage in a lot of research.

He also advised that the stakeholders needed to develop sustainable models that would help to be predictive and get there before the environment gets there.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the students of Junior Secondary School, Jikwoyi, Abuja presented a playlet on“ Our planet; wonderful treasure.’’

The theme for 2015 WED is: “Sustainable Consumption and Production’’ with the slogan; “Seven Billion Dreams. One Planet, Consume with Care.’’

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