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Experts urge adaptive actions on climate change

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Environmentalists have called for adaptive response to global warming in order to lower the risks posed by the consequences of climate change.

According to them, adaptation is urgent and indispensable to safeguard development gains and address the needs of the poor and the vulnerable.

The experts, who spoke at the 2019 Society for Environmental Toxicology and Pollution Mitigation (SETPOM) International Conference and Fellows Award Conferment in Lagos, include, Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Managing Director of Unilag Consult and Professor of Ecotoxicology, Adebayo Otitoloju, Head, Local Performance and Environment, Dangote Cement Plc, Tukur Lawal, SETPOM President, Dr. Funmilayo Doherty, among others.

Leading the call at the Conference theme: “ Climate Change Adaptation, Emerging Environmental Issues, and Sustainability, Dr. Doherty, noted that adaptation measures must be planned in advance or put in place spontaneously in response to local pressure.

According to her, climate change adaptation is an issue of global concern and has over the last decade begun in earnest to prepare for rising seas, higher temperatures, worsening droughts, and other impacts.

Such adaptation measures, she said, include, large scale infrastructure changes like building defences to protect against sea level rise or improving the quality of road surfaces to withstand hotter temperatures, building flood defences and raising the levels of dykes as well as behavioural shifts such as using less water, adopting renewal energy, good waste disposal practice and planting more trees.

Others are using scarce water resources more efficiently, developing drought – tolerant crops, farmers planting different crops and choosing tree species and forestry practices less vulnerable to storms and fires and setting aside land corridors to help species migrate.

Dr. Doherty stressed that climate change adaptation will help individuals, communities, organisations and natural systems to deal with those consequences of climate change that cannot be avoided.

The SETPOM president, who noted the recent ugly incidence of flood in Lagos, said adaptation is as a shared responsibility, stressing the need for governments at all levels, businesses, households, and individuals to play complementary roles.

She further highlighted that the introduction of SETPOM Green Essay Competition and Photo contest on Environment for Secondary Schools as well as SETPOM Environment Guard Club were meant to get the younger generation involved in the issue of mitigation and adaptation responses to the climate change challenges.

For Prof Otitoloju, there is a need for stakeholders to come together in a forum like this to share ideas and present their research findings to better our lives.

He stressed that climate change is important thing that one needs to adapt because of the rising water levels, places underwater, desertification, and flooding issues.

A representative of the Vice-chancellor, University of Lagos, Prof Sylvester Ogbogu, stressed the need for all to be involved in environmental issues by looking at those things that make life unconducive and inhabitable.

The Vice-Chancellor called for collective support for SETPOM in its bid to protect the environment, as Nigeria is a signatory to many environmental treaties and issues conceived to support global and national efforts to protect the environment.

On his part, Lawal, a chemical engineer, called for synergy between the gown and the town to solve environmental challenges.

According to him, there are many companies that are looking for opportunities to better the lives of the people and the communities; hence institutions like the University of Lagos should not be depending on the public power supply when they could use waste to generate electricity in a sustainable manner.

He urged high institutions to be practical in tackling environmental challenges, while individuals, he said, should have stakes on the environment by looking at ways to minimize waste generation.


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