The Lagos State Government, in collaboration with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), is set to hold the 15th edition of the Annual Walk for Nature to highlight the importance of nature conservation and improving the quality of life across the State.
Speaking at a Press Conference organised to sensitise the public on the importance of the 2022 Annual Walk for Nature on Tuesday at Alausa, Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello said the event, over the years, has continued to create awareness and sensitise Lagosians on the importance of Nature Conservation and Biodiversity.
Bello, represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Dr. Omobolaji Gaji, said Lagos State Government had since 2008 been collaborating with Nigerian Conservation Foundation to enlighten the citizenry on the importance of environmental protection and conservation through a yearly programme, tagged: “Walk For Nature”.
He stressed that the collaboration has, for the past 15 years, ensured the observance of “Walk For Nature” on every third Saturday of October of each year, adding that the theme for each year is coined from the theme of World Environment Day: “Only One Earth”.
The Commissioner averred that the State Government is seeking to demonstrate an interest in conservation matters through partnership and collaboration with the Private Sector and Non-Governmental Organisations in compliance with Sustainable Development Goal 17.
Bello said the Walk is geared towards promoting healthy lifestyles, improving physical fitness and increasing the environmental health of the residents through a reduction of vehicular emissions.
He stressed that the event, over the years has created a great deal of consciousness amongst Lagosians, especially among residents on Lagos Island.
Bello, however, added that to further spread the awareness Statewide, this year’s programme has been extended to other parts of the State and the comemoration of the special day, will take place simultaneously in Ikeja Local Government, Surulere Local Government and Ikoyi Obalende Local Council Development Area to decentralise the awareness campaign and reach out to more people.
The Director-General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Dr. Joseph Onoja stated that the programme was designed to create more awareness on all activities that put untold pressure on biodiversity and wildlife as well as to improve behavioural change amongst the people towards nature.
Onoja, who spoke through the Director, Business Development and Communications, NCF, Mr. Uche Achunine noted that people should always bear in mind that the more they harm some species by killing them and engaging in deforestation, the more they are harming themselves.
He, therefore, urged everyone to participate in the Walk, learn to treat nature nicely, live a healthy lifestyle and promote environmental awareness.