Lagos State Commissioner for The Environment, Mr. Babatunde Durosinmi- Etti has called on Lagosians to view wetlands protection as a veritable solution to climate change and a means for conserving the environment for posterity.
He made this call in Alausa at the weekend while identifying with the United Nations and the rest of the world in marking the 2019 World Wetlands Day with the theme: “Wetlands and Climate Change”.
The Commissioner said that the World Wetlands Day, celebrated annually on 2nd February, was designated by the United Nations to raise global awareness on the value of wetlands for humanity with a view to encouraging the protection of this invaluable natural resource.
He noted that this year’s theme of the World Wetlands Day was very instructive as it was expected that it would impel actions across the world against wetlands loss resulting from socio-economic pressures and climate change among others.
“The coastal state of Lagos, in spite of its blessing with enormous wetlands resources that can be relied upon to conserve nature and fight climate change, has for so long contended with the pressure of development which inexorably drained this vital natural gift”, he said.
He stressed that it had become necessary for all stakeholders to join hands for the protection of wetlands in Lagos State, in particular, and Nigeria as a whole, considering the key roles played by wetlands in sustaining the environment.
Durosinmi-Etti stated further that Lagos, like other coastal States, was susceptible to effects of climate change such as sea level rise, coral bleaching and change in water temperature while its wetlands play important roles in coping with these challenges by being useful in absorbing and storing carbon, reducing floods, relieving droughts, reducing storm surges and protecting coastlines.
According to him, “It is for these reasons that the government of Lagos State shares the aspiration of the rest of the world for safe wetlands and this is what underscores our annual recognition of every 2nd February for advocating sustainable wetlands usage”.