Prof. Babajide Alo, former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Lagos (UNILAG), has called on Lagos State Government, corporate bodies and individuals to embrace greening as a way of improving the health and wellbeing of the citizenry.
He also urged the state government to return and improve on the parks and garden beautification era to provide and make the state more natural and greening.
The topic of the conference was: “Nurturing Nature Between the Town and Gown.”
It stresses on the importance of active participation in environment conservation and sustainable living.
The theme was: “Celebrate Biodiversity.”
Alo said that greening has a great impact on the health of citizens and the environment, by reducing the emission of carbon dioxide.
He said biodiversity was important to man as an ecological life support, providing functioning ecosystem that supply oxygen, clean air, water and other ecosystem services.
The expert, however, noted that biodiversity was under threat due to human activities.
“Universities have opened up more to the external world, and have given much attention to the diffusion and economic exploitation of their research.
“There is need to focus more on making the gown assist the town, our communities to conserve nature to protect biodiversity,” he said.
Alo said biodiversity and the ecosystem loss had generated tremendous concern globally, as the extinction of plants and animal species were decreasing earth’s biodiversity, thereby depriving humans of potential resources such as food, medicine and enjoyment of nature.
He identified global trade in wildlife and global shipping as issues affecting and destroying nature and biodiversity.
Alo said with the COVID-19 experience, there was need for action for nature.
“The outbreak and experience of Coronavirus disease has left a significant environmental and health impact in the world.
“Hence, this pandemic must, therefore, be teaching us a lesson that it is time to re-build for people and the planet,” he said.
Alo called on the universities to develop systematic environmental and biodiversity data collection for improved management and application.
He said: “Universities can join in the vanguard to reverse the degration; we must encourage all experts in biodiversity.
“We must fund them and make our curricula to have compulsory courses in biodiversity conservation and protection.
“Universities should make our teaching and research at all levels incorporate nature studies, inclusion of studies and text on biodiversity conservation into the national primary and secondary education as stipulated in the 2015 National Implementation document.”