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WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY: FORMER GMD CALLS FOR COLLECTIVE ACTION ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE. By: David Olorunleke

GM, FAD, Mr. G. C. Okonkwo delivering the GMD’s speech. To his left are GM, FES, Dr. M. D. Bako, GM, MMD, Dr. D. E. Inemugha, GM, Planning, Yetunde Taiwo and GM, JV Ops, Mrs. C. Moro respectively. And to his right is the guest lecturer of the day, Barr. Titilayo N. Akosa

The former Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Engr Andrew Yakubu, has called for a proactive engagement of all sectors of our societies in order to collectively address the issues of global climate change. He made the clarion call while delivering a keynote address at this year’s World Environment Day (WED).

The former GMD’s address, which was delivered at NAPIMS by the GM, FAD, Mr. Godwin Okonkwo who represented the GGM NAPIMS, Engr. Jonathan Okehs, traced the history of WED to 1972 when the United Nations General Assembly adopted June 5 of every year to commemorate the opening of the Stockholm Conference, which was the first Global Convention on Global Climate Change.

He pointed out that through the World Environment Day, the United Nations Environment Programme is able to personalise environmental issues and enable everyone to realise not only their responsibility, but also the power to become change agents in support of sustainable and equitable development. “We must be committed more than ever, to collectively and individually ensure we don’t make the environment uninhabitable for future generation,’’ he stressed.

He went further to remind the audience that the NNPC HSE policy thrust is founded on that hallowed, uncompromising commitment of ensuring staff well-being, safe work place with minimal negative impact on our environment.

This year’s global annual event focuses on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) with the theme: “Raise Your Voice and Not the Sea Level”. The attention of the world is being drawn to these small has laid on them the vital roles in protecting the oceans and serving as biodiversity hotspots, housing some of the rarest and richest reservoirs of plants and animals on the planet.

The global climate change, which is a direct fall out of our technological activities, poses enormous challenge to the SIDS.

The global warming is causing the ocean levels to rise and this provokes natural disasters for these small islands. It must be said that these island nations like Palau, Puerto Rico, Trinidad Tobago, Tonga, Samoa, Suriname, Seychelles and other coastal cities like Lagos, though have contributed little to the climate change, but they have been on the receiving end. According to Barrister Titilope. N. Akosa of Gender, Environment and Climate Action Network (GECAN), who was the guest-speaker at the WED in NAPIMS, the global average sea level has increased to eight inches since 1880 due to shrinking land ice – glaciers, ice caps, and ice sheets and this has contributed about half of the total global sea level rise between 1972 and 2008 and has continued to increase since 1990s as the pace of the ice loss accelerated up to 52%. The cause of this being the global output of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere.

As a result of this danger, the former GMD called on all and sundry to become frontline advocates and champions of a cleaner, healthier environment both in words and actions. ‘Planet Earth is our shared island; let us join hands to protect it’ he urged.

Lending his voice to the campaign for a sustainable healthier environment, the NAPIMS’ HSSE Manager, Mr. Hilary Akpan, stressed the need for all to adopt the culture of using recyclable house hold items, turning off electrical appliances when not in use, and planting trees. Noting that concerted efforts in tackling today’s greatest collective challenge facing humanity, like other challenges in the past, could well be the greatest opportunity for our common progress towards a sustainable future.

We must all heed the clarion call to raise our voice against all forms of environmental abuse because every generation holds the planet earth in trust for the generation next.
© 2015 NAPIMS
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