The Association of Nigerian Women Safety Professionals (ANWOSAP) commemorates the global celebration of the United Nations World Environment Day hosted in Columbia this year. The World Environment Day was first celebrated forty-five (45) years ago and is currently marked annually by over 100 countries. The World Environment Day (WED) is celebrated on the 5th of June every year, It serves as the United nations principal campaign vehicle for promoting global awareness on emerging environmental issues and a call to action for protection of the environment. The theme for this year’s World Environment Day 2020 is “Celebrate Biodiversity”.
There is a need to celebrate biodiversity in line with this year’s theme, in a period when over 1 million species including plants and animal are at risk of facing extinction essentially due to human activities. In the face of the current global pandemic, the urgent call for continued link of human health to environmental health is vital, since the planet serves as a sink for environmental degradation and at the same time sustenance of human life by purifying the air, there is a need to create balance in maintaining the ecosystem. In Nigeria specifically, we are losing some of our exclusive species due to climate change, pollution and excessive land-use. Therefore, a need for prompt action from all parties to promote sustainability of the ecosystem cannot be overstated.
Our biodiversity is the foundation that connects and supports all life on land and below water. It affects every aspect of human existence, providing clean air and water, nutritious foods, natural resources and climate change mitigation. However, human actions, including industrialization, deforestation, encroachment on wildlife habitats, intensified agriculture, and acceleration of climate change through environmental impacts of our activities, have pushed nature beyond its limit. The constant Changes and disruption of the elements within these natural ecosystems affect the entire life system and produces very dire consequences. In choosing this year’s theme the UN stated that biodiversity is a concern that is both urgent and existential, it further declares that “It would take 1.6 Earths to meet the demands that humans make of nature each year. If we continue on this path, it will become survival of the fittest. Undoubtedly, biodiversity loss will have severe implications for humankind, including our overall ecosystems.
We have a collaborative role to play in this call for action to preserve biodiversity as custodians of the planet earth. As government, there is call to deliver on commitments to safeguard nature, curb pollution, develop policies to stop extinction of species and enforce environmental laws; as private sector, there is a call to change production processes by building environmental friendly infrastructure, as civil society and NGOs, we have a duty to intensify advocacy and promote best global practices and as individuals we need to rethink our consumption lifestyles and purchases, we need to adjust the way we consume food and learn to adopt more sustainable lifestyles. The food we eat, the air we breathe, the water we drink and the climate that makes our planet habitable all come from nature; therefore promoting biodiversity involves co-existing harmoniously with the ecosystem to ensure there is a system balance and preservation of the various aspects including plants, animals, macro and microorganisms required for the sustenance of life. The ultimate goal is for all stakeholders to preserve the environment, restore degraded ecosystems and co-exist sustainably with nature.
Today, the Association of Nigeria Women Safety Professionals, (ANWOSAP) joins the global community as ambassadors of our mother earth, towards taking conscious action to promote awareness within our sphere of influence and to call on other stakeholders to contribute to biodiversity preservation in Nigeria. Again, this year’s theme reminds us all that nature is sending us a message, we urge all stakeholders to heed this urgent call.