Governor Olusegun Mimiko’s increased efficiency and decision-making responsibility has manifested in the protection of the environment as a key part of sustainable development. This approach is an extremely smart one and shows that the state has a strong commitment, to the fight against climate change, a drive for economic recovery and sustainability.
Mimiko’s ‘template’ for projects implementation is solid and robust, with due attention being given to sustainable trans-generational projects and ensuring dividends of democracy. Empirical facts show that Governor Mimiko is not holding back his vows to engage himself in the fight against climate change through the Ministry of Natural Resources and other relevant ministries in the state; this was also contained in his electioneering campaigns in 2007. Moreover, Ondo State Ministry of information and the local media also played pivotal roles in making the citizenry buy into this excellent move, by shaping their attitudes to achieving desirable results.
In a renewed effort to make the state green, habitable and to implement measures to reduce the harmful effects of climate change, Ondo State government recently expressed determination to preserve the natural resources in the state, particularly the state forest reserves. The Commissioner for Natural Resources, Lasisi Oluboyo, emphasised this during the inspection of the forest reserve at Ipele, Owo Local Government Area of the state; he lamented the illegal activities being carried out in some of the reserves. According to him, the state has lost millions of naira that would have accrued to it on weekly basis because of the illegal felling of woods by some street boys and selfish businessmen in the timber business. He stated that the efforts of the state at establishing a standard wildlife park would suffer setback due to the illicit activities in the forest.
Besides, the Commissioner added that the practice would also result in environmental problem going by the rate of depletion of forest occasioned by the encroachment. Oluboyo urged the youths to desist from encroaching the forest in Ipele, saying that they should conduct their businesses legitimately and help government to preserve the forest. The Commissioner also expressed dismay that some individuals were operating with unregistered forest concessionaire harmers despite several appeals from the government. A community youth leader, Tope Samuel, pledged the support of the people of the community, urging the government to give them some time to move out their woods already produced from the forest.
Around the world, climate change raises real questions about our shared commitment to human rights and what it means to be part of a single human community. It is a reminder that there is one thing we have in common in a fractured and divided world, the planet Earth. We owe it to future generations, our children and their grandchildren, to act now to reduce these risks. The principle of universal human rights demands that we act now. When tackling an issue as complex as global warming and all other environmental hazards, it is easy to lose sight of the human face of climate change. Climate change should renew our commitment to the poor states or rich states as the case may be. The world’s poor have one thing in common: they did not create the climate crisis now facing humanity, yet they will suffer the most.
For almost 3 billion people in the world, some 40 percent of the planet’s population, living on less than $2 a day, global warming will erode the gains built up over generations, not just in poverty reduction, but in health, education, nutrition and many other areas. We know that events such as droughts and floods will become more frequent, intense and disruptive as a result of climate change. When droughts, floods or storms strike vulnerable people are forced to sell off productive assets, withdraw children from school, and cut back on nutrition and health spending.
We can all win the battle against climate change. It falls to our generation to confront what is perhaps the greatest challenge humanity has ever faced. The World’s Environment has never had to deal with such a threat before. The opportunities to increase international cooperation around this issue, to support national governments and local communities to implement change, to build resilience and to forge a collective, multilateral response to the threat are real. We should use our positions, or connections, or influence, our knowledge, our technical capacity and resources to do things differently and smarter. However, it is instructive to note that Governor Mimiko has taken a good and commendable lead in wrestling against climate crises and hazards in and around Ondo State; this indeed should be an eye opener to other states in the country in the overall interest of our great nation. God bless Nigeria.
*Emmanuel Ajibulu is media aide to Hon. Joseph Akinlaja, a member of the House of Reps (Ondo East/West) and Deputy National Chairperson of Labour Party, Nigeria. [email protected]