Environmentalists advocate tripartite approach to research
Environmentalists have called for a tripartite approach to research that would ensure progress and sustainability of the environment.
According to them, creating awareness and engaging private sectors, academia and government would impact the environment positively since they constitute a major player in the issues of environmental challenges.
They made the call at the first International Environmental Students Summit organised by the Nigerian Environmental Society (NES) with the theme: ”Greening the Economy: Strategically positioning the Youth – the Future of Africa”, held at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA), Lagos.
At the interactive session, Chairman Nigeria Environmental Society, Akwa Ibom Chapter, Prof. Comfort Etok stressed the need for the provision of accessible funding and equipment for research works.
She observed that one major problem that students in research process faced was accessing finance to carry out their project adding that some of them who wanted to go far, most of the times, do their research peripherally.
Chairman House Committee on environment, River State House of Assembly, Ahriakwo Christian said there should be a legislative framework that set aside a certain percentage of budget for students research funds.
“The idea of bridging the gap between the academia, the industry and the government is key; from the academia, you get the knowledge, the industry they have the money power and government have the power to make policies; the policies may be detrimental and it may promote a cause. That tripartite relationship should be established,” he said.
On his part, Chief Emmanuel Idogwu urged educational institutions to interact with industry to finance developmental research projects that would benefit the people and the environment while the students should be led in that regards.
The government, he said should involved, with the ministry of environment expanded to take all the students. “We need to encourage our legislators to pass bills that would revive the industries that would accommodate you and my own children.”
Contributing, National President of the Society, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye condemned the total disconnect between the academia and the industry.
He said: “There is a mismatch between the skills acquired from the university and what is obtainable in the industry. If a project is commercialised and patented, where students and lecturers can make money from it, that is eco-innovation.”
For the Africa Strategy Adviser, Lancaster University, Dr. Akanimo Odon, any research initiatives designed to tackle specialised environmental challenge greens the economy and so government, private sector and academia need to communicate.