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World Environment Day: C'River Charges Residents to be Environmental Stewards

Moved by his administration's determination and commitment to adopt measures that will promote land restoration, combat dissertation, and enhance drought resilience, the Cross River State Governor, Sen. Prince Bassey Edet Otu has called on the citizenry to see themselves as stewards to the environment in a deliberate effort to jointly tackle it attendant challenges faced by the society.

The Governor made this known while declaring open the 2024 World Environment Day Celebration held at the Metropolitan Hotel, Calabar,Wednesday.

Governor Otu who was represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon. Peter Odey, intimated that the State is blessed with abundant natural resources, from rainforest to fertile farmlands, noting that rapid urbanization, deforestation and sustainable land use practices have placed immense pressure on the ecosystem, leading to soil degradation and loss of biodiversity.

Reacting to the acknowledged changes, Governor Otu highlighted the importance of collaboration and partnership in tackling these issues head-on and urged stakeholders including local landlord communities to join hands in sustainable management of land resources.

In his welcome address, Commissioner for Environment,Hon. Moses Osogi said, "we gather here to celebrate and advocate for the preservation of our environment with a special focus on the theme "Land Restoration, Desertification and Drought Resilience.

"Cross River State is committed to implementing sustainable land management practices that seek to promote the restoration of degraded lands, increase soil fertility and enhance biodiversity", he added

He frowned at the present earth condition where one-fifth of the Earth's lands are now degraded and negatively affecting the well-being of more than 3 billion people and getting worse by the day, stating that restoring the ecosystems can create havens for wildlife, helping to halt the extinction crisis gripping the planet.

A keynote address was delivered by Dr. Orok Edet from the University of Calabar on "Land Restoration, Desertification, and Drought Resilience," followed by Prof. Francis Bisong's presentation on "Man and the Environment." Additionally, Uguamanim Dien discussed "The Effect of Air Pollution from Public Burning," and Dr. Dennis Agiande, also from the University of Calabar, addressed "Harmful Effects of Styrofoam on Human Health".

The event which was preceded by a carnival like advocacy walk on some major streets in Calabar, featured, Schools debate, Cultural dance, exhibition of artwork made from recycled materials by Students .

Sylvia Okoi