COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE WORLD ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION CONFERENCE (WECC, 2019) HELD BETWEEN 5TH AND 8TH June, 2019 AT THE FEDERAL UNVIERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, AKURE.
The participants at the World Environmental Conservation Conference held between 5th and 8th June, 2019 at The Federal University of Technology, Akure with the theme TRANSITION PATHWAYS TO SUSTAIANBLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS: Integrated Landscape approach , economic wellbeing and Inclusive Climate resilience considered several issues of urgent importance to realizing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and the targets including, but not limited to: Sustainable consumption and production (Goal 12); economic growth and well-being (Goal 8) and Climate resilience (goal 13) before year 2030.
This year 2019 WECC embraced participants including authors of published articles in the published conference proceedings, members of Nigerian Environmental Conservation Organisation / Environmental Conservation Club, researchers and academia from various institutions and academic disciplines in Nigeria, Europe and South Africa. Others were gentlemen of the press, Conservator General of National Park Service represented by Conservator of Park for Old Oyo National Park; Ondo State Commissioner for Environment represented by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry accompanied by Director of Finance and Administration ( DFA) and Special Assistant; and other relevant stakeholders in private and corporate organizations, Ministry, Department and Agencies.
The participants carefully considered issues bothering on environmental Conservation in Nigeria, Sub-Saharan Africa and the world at large in line with Goal 12, 8 and 13 of the UN-Sustainable Development Goals and resolved as follows
1. Capabilities of Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems in processing, decision making, exploration, delineation planning and management of natural resources (water, land use types, soil, fauna and flora) to achieve sustainable utilization and consumption of these resources has been clearly demonstrated. Thus, the need to incorporate these tools in issues that bothers on such environmental tasks at the science and management level are of importance.
2. There is urgent need for arable crop farmers in Nigeria to diversify their adaptation strategies at the face of incessant and increasing extreme events that are associated with the climate change.
3. It is noted that women‘s level of involvement in water management should be increased in proportion to increasing household size and they should be involved in taking decision on water management.
4. In view of the impacts of gas flaring on physical and natural resources and elevated air temperature; enhanced deforestation and biodiversity losses, there is need to utilize micro-gas turbines, re-injection and pursue as part of a new agenda for sustainable development in Nigeria
5. Environmental conservation education projects and economic incentive mechanism in West Africa should be designed in such a way that they could attract potential buyers/users of Ecosystem Service for funding.
6. As part of the measure promote sustainable productivity of fish farming, stone breaker leaves (Phyllantus niruri) and Erythromycin can be used as a veritable tool for growth promoter, enhance survival and increase yield.
7. Sustainable tourism managementshould be inclusive and participatory to achieve its objective of improved economic wellbeing for the rural populace, offering education, recreation and conservation of natural and cultural heritage resources.
8. Further research need to be undertaken to get safe period between nicrosulfuron application and the introduction of vegetable crops e.g okro and determine the response of such crops to diuron application under filed conditions
9. The protection of the park from illegal human activities should be given proper attention by both the government and wealthy individuals to prevent the park wildlife resources from going into extinction.
10. There is an urgent need for development of robust unconventional agricultural approach that is not expensive, consumer friendly coupled with adequate financing facility for Nigeria to attain sustainable healthy food production by year 2030.
11. Majority of rural farmers, urban dwellers and ecotourism planners in some selected areas in Nigeria have poor perception of climate change impacts on their agricultural practices, economic wellbeing and infrastructural facilities hence, there is need for intensive conservation education, public enlightenment campaign, financial assistance and technical capacity training to adapt and mitigate change in the climate. This should be considered in line with the ongoing efforts to address pollution in our environment.
12. Nigeria government is encouraged to review existing policies on irrigation water for the benefits of the farmers as condition to guarantee optimal yield and agricultural production.
13. The participants resolved that Government and Non-Governmental Organisations should join hands in organizing effective sensitization programmes on consumption, conservation, management and planning of environmental resources.
14. There is need for individuals and government institutions to be fully engaged in climate Smart practices especially Climate Smart Agricultural practice that seeks to transform agriculture under the new realities of climate change i.e Agriculture that its sustainability increases productivity, enhance resilience, reduce or remove GHGs where possible and enhance attainment of national food security and developmental goals.
15. The coastal areas of Ondo State have potentials to develop fish farming which could support government strides towards employment, poverty alleviation, also protect, conserve fish fauna and other aquatic life by maintaining the balance of nature and support the availability of fish fauna resources for future generation
16. Application of organic fertilizer increases growth yield of and thus could serve as a good alternative to resource-poor small-scale farmers who may not be able to purchase inorganic fertilizers in large quantities as required during cultivation due to cost.
17. Measures to prevent and control flooding should be established across major rivers in Nigeria
18. Green technology is an eco-friendly approach to solving most of the climate change challenges and this should be embraced immediately to save our world from increasing environmental catastrophes. However, this requires action to change our attitudes and perspective towards consumption of green products as inferior to sophisticated modern products.
19. Pastoralists in Kajiado county, Kenya are not knowledgeable enough on the adaptation strategies to build their resilience to climate change. There is therefore a need to build capacity of the pastoralists to cope with the projected magnitude and scale of climate change in this 21st century.
20. Arable farmers in Nigeria need to be guided on the use of agrochemicals to prevent pollution and further damage to the environment as a result of indiscriminate use. This could be achieved through media awareness campaign programmes and capacity building workshops.
21. Landscape Monitoring Control Department in the Ministry of Environment and Housing has been charged with the responsibilities of monitoring and controlling the implementation of strategic plans that will be of benefit to the people within their immediate environment.
22. Traditional belief system contributed immensely to conservation and sustainable management of natural and cultural resources, thus there is a need to revive these indigenous practices
23. There is need to enact and implement favorable wetland protection policies that will encourage and empower host communities in protecting their wetlands.
24. There is need to undertake research that will lead to generating informed meteorological data to substantiate ecotourist’s perception on climate change. Establishment of well-equipped and adequately represented meteorological stations will give room for accurate weather forecasts and predictions for pro-active measures.
25. Forest extension services should do more in educating the public on the benefits, importance and contributions of urban forest to the environment and the people.
26. Relevant Government Agencies, Non-Governmental Organizations and private sectors should synergize to fully harness the countless social, economic, ecological and health benefits of recreational open spaces especially in the urban areas.
27. Residents in some parts of Ondo –State are willing to pay for ecosystem services if they are well informed on the derivable benefits from the forest. There is therefore a need for government to adopt stakeholder approach in the forest management for sustainable utilization of the resources.
28. Concerted efforts should be geared towards funding environmental sustainability research and technologies, encourage recycling, the adoption of alternative materials and the development of recycling infrastructure and polices in Nigeria.
29. There is need for amendment of soil to improve physical properties, microbial population, air space and nutrients for maximum yield.
30. It is imperative to expand the scope of study on soil to climate variability and change impacts through modelling for enhancing crop productivity in Sub-sahara Africa.
31. For substantial increased in tree seedlings and stands yields, Nitrogen and Phosphorus are needed in all the soils thus, state government, agricultural banks and NGOs should enhance foresters with different interventions programmes such as provision of farm inputs at subsidized rates.
32. Access to clean water, improved sanitation and hygiene are essential for healthy living , economic growth and sustainable development in Nigeria
33. Ecotourism destinations promote environmental sustainability, economic growth and wellbeing.
34. The absorption of heavy metals unto the gills surface of fishes have negative impacts hazard on public health and can also impede optimum output in fish production.
35. Integrated Community Based Management approach is considered as alternative to top-bottom management approach.
36. Green landscaping is essential for hotel industry to attain sustainable development since this will enhance preservation, ameliorate micro climate, reduce direct solar energy effect and protect the natural resources.
37. Farmer’s in Anambra perceived that there has been an indication that climate change is imminent as reflected in irregularity in the startup and end of rains, high temperature intensity, increasing early rain e.t.c. All these phenomena affects arable crop production thereby increasing cost of production, extinction of food resources, crop infestation and disease which invariably reduces output levels.
38. The use of timber in building design and construction of furniture, roof truss, ceiling, doors, windows, floor, staircase and walls is increasing appropriately compare with its use for industrial construction in Ondo State . There is therefore a need for alternative raw materials for building design and construction of furniture. The use of bamboo as alternative materials for furniture is considered.
39. Further research need to be conducted on the presence of bacterial as it influences microbial population and biomass in tree crop plantation such as oil palm compared to arable farmland. Planting of Node weed (Syndrella nodiflora) is encouraged for feeding snail since it has no competition with man. It gives better weight gains to the snail and reduce labour and time in searching for food.
40. The participants noted that sustainable management of forest (either natural or artificial) requires the knowledge of the growth characteristics and the yield of different tree species.
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
As part of the programme lined up for this year Conference, a general meeting was held and lasted for about 45minutes. The meeting was directed by the executive and Governing Board of the Organisation.
KEY ISSUES THAT EMANATED FROM THE MEETING
Participants were charged to institute plans to establish Environmental Conservation Club, the student armed of the organization in their various communities.
They were equally encourage to enlist their interest in any of the categories of membership through the online platform on the organization website
Issues raised on the inability of some participants to enlist their interest through the online payment were being attended to and these will be resolved.
In order to give the organization a global outlook and acceptability, the organization has been registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission as Netlink Environmental Conservation Organisation (NECOR).
This has not affected the acronym of the organization (NECOR), the vision, mission and her objectives.
Members of the organization that are staff of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan signified their intentions to host the next conference coming up in year 2020. The executives were encouraged to approach Executive Director of FRIN to seek for his supports and approval.
The meeting came to a close with a vote of thanks from the organizer.
Looking forward to seeing you at the next conference.
WRITTEN BY: DR. S. O. OLADEJI