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At unveiling of Man & Mangroves, author canvasses social awakening on environmental protection

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To promote longevity in a sustainable ecosystem, an author, Mr. Jerry Chidi has urged Nigerians to be mindful of some activities, which are causative factors for environmental degradation and pollutions in communities.

Chidi warned that if people continue to treat the environment as though it’s indestructible, and the resource infinite, there are possibilities of losing the rich stocks of seafood and the entire ecosystem could become uninhabitable in the nearest future.
 
Speaking during the presentation of his latest work, he disclosed that this consciousness is important, because it appears the society is sleeping. Though, it depends so much on environmental resource, very little premium is placed on its sustainability and conservation.

Titled, Man & Mangroves: an environmental awakening, the project is a visual narrative of Nigerians in their mangrove environment.

“We take for granted that which we get for free. We treat the environment as though it is indestructible, and its resource infinite. If the trend continues, not only that the society might lose the rich stock of seafood, the environment would become uninhabitable. As a documentary photographer my job involves telling stories about people and our journey through time and space. My work centers on bringing to light that which is shrouded and highlighting the beauty of everyday sights,” said Chidi.

According to him, the mangrove environment has a lot of aesthetic values and appearance; endless expanse of ever green trees with webbed roots digging in and out of water, the mudflats literally crawling with life; crabs, mudskippers, periwinkles and others that make up the ecosystem but we are losing them so rapidly. This for him was due to unfriendly human activities impacting negatively on the ecosystem.

He said, “in 2009, I started this body of work called Man and Mangroves. Initially, the work was just to showcase the beauty and resources of the ecosystem and the people whose culture have been shaped by the environment. That is, the mangroves as a natural and cultural heritage. However, after years of travelling round Nigeria’s mangrove communities and seeing and documenting not just beauty and resources, but also environmental degradation and pollution, the title of the work slightly changed in my mind and heart becoming Man & Mangroves: An environmental awakening.”
 
In his review of the book, a professor of arts history and theory at the University of Port Harcourt, Frank Ugiomoh, said the 176-page material is well written in simple and understandable language and well-researched as well as with clear photographs that illustrate the sorry state of the mangrove forest in Nigeria.
 
“ The book is divided into three chapters. This material would serve as research material for people who seek to enrich their knowledge on the challenges of the Nigerian mangrove forest and encourage the people to show empathy to the environment. We employ you to partner with us to make this happen,” he said.


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