Furtherance to the 2017 World Environment Day celebration, the University has held the 7th Distinguished Lecture Series on Environment themed, “Connecting People to Nature”. Speaking on the lecture, titled, “Re-Aligning People With Nature: A Necessity For Good Livelihood”, the Guest Lecturer, Adetokunbo Adeola, a Professor of Ecology from Nasarawa State University, Keffi, stressed the need for all to appreciate the beauty and importance of nature.
Represented by Professor Matthew Oyun, from the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Professor Adeola described the term ‘natural environment’ as the complete ecological unit that functions as natural systems without any massive, civilised and human intervention. He gave examples of natural environment to include vegetation, micro-organisms, soils, rocks, atmosphere and natural phenomena that occurred within their boundaries, such as rivers, forests and oceans. He added that connecting to nature meant a sense of joint destiny and belonging, between humans and the rest of the natural world. The Professor stressed that the secret to being wealthy, emotionally-sustained and resistant to everyday stress, was to stay connected to nature, advising that individuals, who live in city areas, should consider exploring and getting closer to nature, on a regular basis.
Professor Adeola stated that “as a people, we need nature as our food, water and livelihood since all came from nature, stressing that the challenges facing nature, in terms of oceans, rivers and forests affect us and the task is for all of us, to work together to tackle them”. He added that saving nature was the only way to preserve the human environment. “We need to work at every level, from remote villages to urban cities, so as to find innovative solutions to our planet’s most pressing problems”, he noted.
The Director, Federal Ministry of Environment/FUNAAB Linkage Centre, Dr. Jubril Soaga, stated that June 5 of every year had been set aside, to promote worldwide awareness about the environment and an opportunity for decision makers to re-affirm their commitments to safeguarding the future generation. According to him, “Across the globe, there is drastic alteration in the natural environment resulting in catalogue of problems such as erosion, aggravated flooding, loss of crop yield, declining air and water quality, climate change and loss of biodiversity”. He noted that human activities such as farming, logging, grazing, hunting, exploitation for a variety of products, urbanisation and infrastructural development, had largely contributed to changing the original vegetation cover. Dr. Soaga reiterated that this year’s theme was designed to remind humanity of the numerous benefits derivable from the natural environment, adding that it was a pointer to the dangers inherent in forest degradation, deforestation and ecosystem disturbance that seriously threaten man. He further noted that the current rate of deforestation across the globe was alarming and estimated to be 14 million hectares per annum.
At the occasion, the Acting Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Professor Ololade Enikuomehin, who was represented by the Dean, College of Biological Sciences (COLBIOS), Professor David Agboola, lauded the conference organisers, as he charged them to sustain the passion and determination to protect the human environment. Highpoint of the event was presentation of books to representatives of secondary schools that graced the event.