Preserve our natural heritage – UN Secretary General

National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Mr OLUSEYI Soremekun plants a tree to commemorate the 2016 World Environment Day

National Information Officer, UNIC Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun plants a tree to commemorate the 2016 World Environment Day

The United Nations (UN) Secretary General, Mr Ban Ki-moon has urged everyone to overcome indifference, combat greed and act to preserve our natural heritage for the benefit of this and future generations.

In a message delivered by the National Information officer, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Oluseyi Soremekun, at the event marking the Word Environment Day, organised by the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) in collaboration with the UNIC and Lagos State Parks and Gardens (LASPARK), with the theme “Go Wild for Life” on Friday, 3rd of June 2016, the Secretary General noted that ‘this year’s observance of World Environment Day shines a much-needed spotlight on the trade in wildlife and there is now a grave cause for alarm. The businesses and individuals involved are motivated solely by short- term gain at the expense of long- term benefit to communities and habitats.’

Mr Ban added that the campaign “Wild for Life” asks everyone to pledge to end illegal trade in wildlife, from ordinary citizens, who can ensure they do not buy prohibited products, to governments, who can pursue change through implementing effective policies to protect species and ecosystems.

The Guest Speaker, Dr Mayowa Fasona of the Department of Geography, University of Lagos (UNILAG) stated that the first law of ecology is  ”Everything is connected to everything”. As he spoke on the ecosystem and conservation of plants and animals, he gave in-depth details and statistics on the conservation of wild life focusing on how to keep wildlife from extinction and also protecting the ones almost extinct.

The Chairman of NES, Dr Eugene Itua, in his remarks noted that “Saving wildlife and wilderness is the sole responsibility of all people”.

Dr Iyabo Phillips who was the representative of the Lagos State Commissioner of the Environment thanked the participants for attending the programme and stated that “Children are the change agents and the future generation, if the wildlife is not conserved, the future of the children will be bleak”.

She encouraged the students at the programme not to kill insects or wildlife but rather protect them. Dr Iyabo explained that wildlife involved both plants and animals because they needed to co-exist.

To conclude the event, UNIC Lagos representative, Mr Soremekun planted a tree at the Ndubuisi Kanu Park, Alausa, Ikeja, the venue of the programme. The second tree was planted by Dr Iyabo Phillips. Over 100 people attended the programme.