Climate Change Responsible for Major Health Risk Multiplier - Goni - Living Environment


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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Climate Change Responsible for Major Health Risk Multiplier - Goni

By Ada Achanya

The Conservator-General, National Park Service, Dr. Ibrahim Goni, said climate change was acknowledged as a major health risk multiplier in the world.

Goni stated that, this has increased negative effects on human health, land, oceans, biodiversity, water and are exacerbating natural disasters, migration and conflict.

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

He 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 among other.

“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.

According to him, 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.

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

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

He urged Nigerian Journalists to leverage their profession to ensure a healthy environment in the country for 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.

Also speaking,in his keynote address, the Commissioner of Enviroment Kogi State, Victor Omofaiye,said state government should ensure full implementation of polluters pay principle on industries as a measure to mitigate all pollution .

“ it will boost revenue for the state governments.

“Polluters pay principle is a standard mechanism designed to monitor and control the level of air pollution in industries by way of establishing charges on gaseous pollutants emitted”.

Omofaiye said there is a need for media public enlightenment among others to discourage the cutting down of trees that influences climate change in the community should be intensified.

Earlier, the Chairman of EMCAN,Chuks Aziken, had stated that journalists covering the environment beat are constrained by finance and lack of skill to do their job. To this end, he recommended constant training and capacity building for them.

Aziken said Journalists covering the environment sector are fully aware of the key challenges but are constrained to bring the issue to the front burner for many reasons such as finance, bureaucratic bottlenecks from government officials in giving information .

He said journalists are not carried along in terms of coverage and attending environmental events.

“A capacity building will be able to improve their knowledge and capacity to report effectively on environmental issues. This is particularly pertinent in relation to the green economy as it is an emerging concept”.

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