Conservationists seek protection for coastal environment
Conservationists have called for improved protection of the oceans and marine life.
The founder of Lekan Bakare Foundation (LBF), Olalekan Bakare, led the call at 2023 World Ocean Day, held at the Kids Beach Gardens Elegushi, Lekki, Lagos. He said the move would ensure growth of marine life and its ecosystem, while unlocking opportunities, as well as enhance sustainability of the economy.
Bakare said the foundation supports coastal communities in Nigeria by inculcating environmental education in pupils and promoting sustainable practices. According to him, the foundation is committed to educating pupils in public primary and secondary schools across Lagos on the imperatives of conserving marine life.
He said: “The ocean is a source of livelihood for many Nigerians, but it is threatened by climate change. It is paramount that we ensure the protection of the ocean and promote ecosystem growth. We eat fish for protein but they are affected because they eat nylons, plastics and other harmful materials in the sea, which could cause cancer, when consumed by man.
“Our shorelines are polluted and have become dumpsites for some persons, who dump used plastic bottles, pure water sachets, containers, empty can drinks and pet bottles among others. These materials clog gutters, coastline and the environment. The ocean, which is supposed to give humans pure oxygen, is polluted and affects aquatic lives because of the hazardous activities.”
Bakare urged parents to focus on cleaning homes and introduce regular environmental sanitation to the children to save coastlines and the earth.
“We will continue to partner and advise governments on environmental sustainability and climate action,” he said.
Founder, Recycling Scheme for Women and Youth Empowerment (RESWAYE), Doyinsola Ogunye, said the beach cleanup would promote a cleaner and more sustainable marine environment.
She observed that sea turtles and other marine animals are endangered species because they are killed almost on a regular basis.
Ogunye added that to reduce climate and global warming, it would require collective effort by critical stakeholders.
On his part, a climate change ambassador, Mr. Victory Ashaka, said the society should care for marine spaces to have a legacy to leave behind for future generations.
He also advised Nigerians to continuously pick up pet bottles and plastics from the sea environment for recycling to save the earth.
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