WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2020 (ZOOM SESSION HELD ONLINE FROM PORT HARCOURT), HOSTED BY SMITH NWOKOCHA, A UN VOLUNTEER, A MEMBER OF UNEP MCGY, ADMINISTRATOR OF FRIDAY-FOR-FUTURE, NIGERIA AND A VOLUNTEER OF 350.ORG.
In his opening remark, Smith Nwokocha, emphasized, that it is time to nurture nature instead of damaging and destroying nature. Just like the theme of this year “Celebrating BIODIVERSITY”, focusing on “Time For Nature”. The pandemic has taught us that we cannot operate in isolation, but to come together and accelerate the progress of any issues or task. We know it is possible. We need to invest in what is to come, not what is here.
The Executive Director (Inger Andersen) of UN Environment Programme (UNEP); in her speech at WED 2020. She said; “As we mark a most unusual #WorldEnvironmentDay, it is time to remember that when we protect the planet, we protect ourselves. It is time #ForNature, because, this will help us: (a) Lower risk of future pandemics. (b) Slow Climate Change. (C) #BuildBackBetter and healthier than before.
Student of Our Lady of Fatima College, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, introduced a device that could filter air, a solution device to curb the Black SOOT in Rivers State. Such a Novell idea.
FIRST SPEAKER: ADITYA SIVA DAS (INDIAN).
Why should the youth advocate climate change and mark world Environmental Day?
We cannot agree less that environmental concerns are the most important parameters when it comes to life and a healthy ecosystem. This year 2020 has proved and showed us that nature can hit back at us whenever it comes to the conditions of “ survival of the fittest”. And it knows how to become fit very well.
Our environment and our ecosystem is as living as we are, the way we living organisms cannot survive without the basic facilities provided by our nature, the same way our ecosystem around us also demands certain basic sense of conservative attitude to keep it functioning well.
The best and the simple way to understand our environment, is by personifying it as a best friend, rather than a depot of endless opportunity. It is about mutual understanding and respect that we develop with our best friend. And never intend to harm him or her at any cost.
That is why I believe that we all should advocate climate change as a major subject of discussion followed by appropriate intervention while policy making.
Time to act is today, definitely not tomorrow.
And for why should we do it, the answer is simple.
For a healthy and a happy global environment & for our future generations to come,
Resources will definitely end one day, and because of greed and a chase for a comfortable life, some people in ability are exploiting the geography in a very non-technical way. This kind of situations need the advocacy and intervention of climate change policies today.
Or else the day is not far, when we will be buying a bottle of clean air, just like buying a bottle of clean water.
A list of mainstream environmental issues, that I believe we all should recall and find better solutions against the following,-
- Climate change- the planet is becoming hotter every year.
- Over population- limited space, but uncontrolled population growth.
- Global water crisis- midway in the catastrophe.
- Endangered species- loss of habitat, as repercussions of over human population.
- More oil and coal extraction- never want to break the tradition.
- Food safety and chemical contamination- too much options for adulteration.
- Pandemics and Super bugs – evolved and unknown genetics
“In the pursuit of happiness, we have ripped the planet apart, but still we are not any happier,
It is time to stop and look because all experiences come within us not outside us”
STOP EXPLOITING THE MUTE
Networking and outreach,
Member of UNMGCY
SECOND SPEAKER: ESPERANCE CHANTAL (KENYAN).
ROLE OF THE YOUTH IN ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION | WED
The theme for World Environment Day, 5 June 2020 is BIODIVERSITY — a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world. With 1 million species facing Threat to extinction, there has never been a more important time to focus on biodiversity.
This year, millions of people will be celebrating digitally, worldwide.
WHAT DOES WED MEAN TO ME
Some say: It the day where we as conservationist have to raise awareness and call others to protect the nature – No, everyone has a role to play!!!
Environment means life: for without the environment then humans cease to exist. It’s a day to reflect and appreciate nature. Creates awareness on importance of conserving our environment. It is a day to reflect on the impact of nature to human existence which calls for reflection on past and recent event accelerated by the effect of human activities on natural resources.
Above all, World Environment Day offers a global platform for inspiring positive change. It recognizes that global change requires a global community. It pushes for individuals to think about the way they consume; for businesses to develop greener models; for farmers and manufacturers to produce more sustainably; for governments to safeguard wild spaces; for educators to inspire students to live in harmony with the Earth; and for youth to become fierce gatekeepers of a green future. It requires all of us!
Young people are the future, and the decisions made now will determine the kind of world you will inherit. Increasingly, you are making your voices heard with real impact.
Young people have a role to play in preventing biodiversity loss and preserving nature for our future.
The youth should stop playing the victim; we are the minority groups in political, social and economic spheres. The minute we quit being helpless recipients of effects of climate change, poor waste disposal, irresponsible production and consumption then, we will become actors. Inviting ourselves to the table shall make us equal decision makers who do not need their rights advocated for them. Maybe one day social stratification will be a thing of the past.
TOOLS OF ACTION
Here are some things you can engage in especially during these Covid times that can have a massive impact in protecting Mother Nature from the comfort of our homes
- Turn off lights when you leave a room. Turn off and unplug electronics you’re not using. This includes turning off your computer at night.
- Take a shorter shower and/or use a water-saving shower head.
- Fix leaky faucets and showerheads.
- Conserve water outdoors by only watering your lawn in the early morning or late at night to reduced water lost through evapotranspiration.
- Grow your own organic backyard garden for sustainable agriculture.
- Reduce your meat consumption to curb carbon emissions from the livestock industry.
- Compost kitchen scraps for use in your garden — turning waste into manure.
- Use reusable bottles for water, bags, and reusable mugs for coffee.
- Set your office printer to print two-sided.
Case in point: Without that one plastic bottle being tossed out of the window, the garbage land fill wouldn’t be existent. Everyone has a role to play in the restoration of mother earth’s sanity. Let’s act now and stop waiting for earth to fight us back.
You might know the 3 R’s — reduce, reuse, recycle — but we suggest more: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Recover.
Governments, NGOs, local authorities and private institutions are key players in the fight against pollution (a pivotal facet of climate change), but we all have a role to play. As a youth, you yield real power and influence as a consumer, a voter, and a member of a community that can unite for change. This is our world and it is shared.
Geographical boundaries do not extend to the environment. One state, social group, industry or individual fails to live sustainably, we all pay for it. Sustainable Goal 17 Peace Justice and partnership for the goals means everything. I invite all forms of action be they subtle like mirroring and call out culture or as assertive as sustainable fashion and person responsibility. The ball is in your court. To Amartya Sen, real development is freedom; choose now to be a victim or an actor.
By. ESPERANCE CHANTAL (ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE ASSOCIATE)
THE YOUTH CAFÉ!
THIRD SPEAKER: DR. PATRICIA NGENE (CANADA BASED);
Thank you Amb.Smith Nwokocha for giving me a mic 🎤 to say a few words in favour of a topic close to my heart. #GREENRECOVERYPOSTCOVID19
It’s World Environment Day today. Despite our efforts the earth’s environment is undergoing climate change and global warming from pollution and human over activity. Covid 19 is causing a compulsory reset for us to see that we are causing the earth to suffocate.
Truly the environment is saying
I Can’t Breathe
Save our world by going green. Reuse , recover, recycle, repair , refuse
No more waste, burning of gas , trees for charcoal , excessive consumption, flooding our waters with heavy metal waste, burning of crude oil , importation of dead cars that release greenhouse gases and noxious fumes in the air , switch off those lights when you are not in the room , repair the leaking faucets , shower hoses, taps and pipes
Pick up your trash after yourself and teach your kids to do so
Plant a garden for food, fruit and flowers
Eat local food. Teach your kids to love the earth
The earth is your friend. Treat it kindly
Dr. Patricia Ngene (CEO-PRECISION IMAGING LTD and a RADIOLOGIST):
Q & A.
In Closing; Amb. Smith Nwokocha concluded the session by saying; “We rely on Nature for our Health, Jobs and so much more”.
Link to the Zoom Session: https://youtu.be/pUqJZzc2F3oHAPPY WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY 2020.