‘Leverage your profession to promote healthy environment,’ Conservator-General tells journalists

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‘Leverage your profession to promote healthy environment,’ Conservator-General tells journalists

Dr Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, National Park Service, has urged Nigerian Journalists to  leverage their profession to ensure a healthy environment in the country for sustainable livelihood.

Goni gave the charge on Monday in Abuja at a one-day capacity workshop organised by the Environment Media Correspondents Association of Nigeria (EMCAN) with the theme, “Healthy Environment, Panacea to Sustainable Livelihood.”

He said the service would be willing to support EMCAN where necessary to discharge the responsibility of ensuring a healthy condition of Nigerian environment for the sustainable livelihoods of its citizens.

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“I want to also call on you to use this workshop to come up with strong suggestions on how to further ensure the health of Nigeria environment and beyond with your pens and otherwise as this is a responsibility that cuts across our International borders.

“I also congratulate you for deeming it important to organise this workshop which further convinces us in the service today that you are not just members of EMCAN by accident but by passion and determination to revert the injustices to our environment,” he said.

Goni said that the reports of the United Nations Assembly of the United Nations Environment Programme in 2016, attributed an estimated 12.6 million deaths in the world to the environment in 2012.

“The air people breathe, the food they eat, the water they drink and the ecosystems which sustain them have been estimated to be responsible for 23 percent of all deaths worldwide which are caused by non communicable diseases arising from exposure to chemicals, poor air quality, unhealthy lifestyles, conflict etc.

“This shows that a clear connection exists between environmental quality, human well being and sustainable livelihood.

“The United Nations report, shows that air pollution is the world’s largest single environmental risk to health. Some 7 million people across the world die each year as a result of everyday exposure to poor air quality at home and at workplaces.

“Lack of access to clean water and sanitation cause 58 percent of cases of diarrhea diseases in the low and middle-income countries.

“Climate change is acknowledged as a major health risk multiplier in the world with existing effects that have increasing negative effects on human health, land, oceans, biodiversity, water and are exacerbating natural disasters, migration and conflict, he said.

Goni stressed that environmental health-related risks are becoming a primary concern in Nigeria, with diverse environmental problems such as air pollution, water pollution, oil spillage, deforestation and flooding.

He, however, said that proactive measures had been recommended for Nigeria by some concerned citizens/stakeholders of the environment to improve environmental conditions in Nigeria.

Some of the recommendations include reduction of pollution by second hand vehicles, generators, use of biomass fuelwood among others.

He also stressed that all industries in Nigeria be made to adhere to the Federal Government’s air quality regulations and Policy and Environmental Standards, as well as surveying mining or potential mining sites by the environmental protection agencies and law enforcement agencies.

Mr Chuks Oyema-Aziken, Chairman, EMCAN,  said the workshop would enable journalists to improve their knowledge and capacity to report effectively on environmental issues.

He noted that the workshop would help journalists’ professional skills and knowledge of quality journalism standards in the field of environmental and policy reporting.

“On our part as journalists, we remain committed to the goal of a healthy environment. We will work with relevant stakeholders to ensure our environment is habitable.

“We want to use this opportunity to implore stakeholders in the sector to support this objective, ” the EMCAN chairman said.

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