The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), say the shrinking of Lake Chad by 90 percent, is forcing pastoralists in search for food and grazing lands for their livestock to migrate towards the southern part of Nigeria.
It said the development account for violent conflicts between herders and farmers by militant and religious extremists groups like Boko Haram and bandits, thereby causing displacement of local Communities whose livelihoods have been disrupted.
The executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Uyi Godwin Ojo disclosed this in a keynote address delivered to mark the 20121 World Environmental Day on Tuesday in Benin City, Edo State.
He predicted that the current herders and farmers clashes may turn into a full scale combat if immediate steps are not taken to restore degraded ecosystems and prevent the degradation of other ecosystems.
While suing for the need to raise awareness and restore living in harmony with nature, the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, declared a State of Environmental Emergency for Ecosystem Restoration (SEEER) towards creating radical and deep transformation in global production and consumption pattern in order to realise the United Nations (UN) 10 years decade of action on restoration of the ecosystem.
Delivering a lecture titled: “Pathway to Ecosystem” on the occasion, Prof. Gideon Imelue from the University of Benin (UNIBEN), said Nigeria contributes 55.7 per cent to deforestation globally between year 2000 and 2005.
He recommended individuals, groups, participatory approach against environmental degradation in addition to implementation of celebrate tree planting to exercise by Nigerians to reverse the trends and protect the flora and fauna from going into extinction.
Two panelists at the Ceremony, Comrade Austin Osakue and former President of Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA), Stella Ojeme who spoke on “Towards restoring Nigeria’s ecosystem” and Ecosystem restoration: Panacea to sustainable Development”, sued for commitment of Nigerians and the government to restore degraded environment for the continuous existence of the habitat.
The theme of the event,
is ‘Ecosystem Restoration’.