Date Published: 07/06/10
2 July 2010
1ST ENVIRONMENT OUTREACH ANNUAL PUBLIC LECTURE/ ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS CEREMONY HELD ON MONDAY, 28TH JUNE, 2010 AT HOTEL PRESIDENTIAL, PORT HARCOURT
The Rivers State Government has embarked on the massive planting of five million trees in the State to check the menace of climate change and environmental degradation that currently threaten the people of the state.
This was disclosed by the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi while speaking as the Chief Host and Guest of Honour at the 1st Environment Outreach Magazine Public lecture and Environmental Awards ceremony which took place in Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt last Monday.
The Governor, who was represented by the Honourable Commissioner for Environment, Barrister Kingsley Chinda stated that about one million trees has so far been planted around the state and that the exercise would continue until the target figure is met. He observed that the Niger Delta region suffers serious environmental problems resulting from the activities of oil and gas companies and called on these companies to adopt more environmental friendly technologies in their operations. He also appealed to the youths of the region to desist from sabotage of oil facilities in order to not to further destroy the environment because of monies made from compensation.
Speaking as Chairman of the occasion, former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim who was represented by eminent Professor C. T. I. Odu, stated that the establishment of the Environment Outreach magazine at this crucial time when our environment is under severe threat underlines the sense of urgency and commitment of the publisher and others like him in tackling the environment challenges that Nigeria faces at the moment. He therefore called on the Federal and States Government; Companies and all Nigerians to continue to support this initiative and vision of the publisher for the benefit of our environment and our country in general.
In her lecture at the occasion, the Guest Speaker, Professor Akpezi Ogbuigwe, Head of Environmental Education and Training at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Nairobi, Kenya lamented the severe loss of biodiversity in Nigeria and how this has aggravated climate change. She said that indiscriminate cutting of trees has affected our forest resources and also led to an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which has also led to global warming and its many consequences. She called for a more equitable and acceptable way of utilizing our forest resources without jeopardizing the rights of our children from using these resources in future.
In his welcome address, the Publisher and Host of the occasion, Mr. Noble Akenge stated that the main objective of The Environment Outreach is to bring to the public domain, the problems of the environment sub-sector and how efforts are being made to solve them. He advised Nigerians to take the issues of environment very serious and congratulated the Environment Outreach Award recipients and urged them to continue to work even harder to protect and promote issues of the environment.
As part of activities marking the occasion, various categories of Environmental Awards were conferred on deserving individuals and institutions including President Goodluck Jonathan; Hon. Minister of Environment, Chief John Odey; Some State Governors; Professor Boniface Egboka, Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University; Rev. Nnimmo Bassey of ERA; Niger Delta Wetlands Centre and the Nigerian Environmental Society among others.
The occasion which attracted eminent personalities from all walks of life was also attended by the Former Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Turner Isoun; former Nigerian Ambassador to Cote D’Ivoire, Ambassador Lawrence Ekpebu; Ebenibe of Atissa Kingdom, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, King Godwin Igodo; Alhaji Ibrahim Abdurahman, Galadima Potiskum and former Head of Service, Yobe State; other title holders of the Potiskum Emirate Council; top Government Functionaries including Federal and State Permanent Secretaries; Representatives of NGOs and Civil Society Groups; the organized private sector and the academia
Noble U. Akenge M.Tech MNES