UNAAB VC, Prof. Oluwafemi Balogun, addressing participants at the Conference while from left, is the Outgoing DVC (D), Prof. Segun Lagoke, Outgoing DVC (A), Prof. Chryss Onwuka, the Conference Facilitator, Prof. Christopher Kogbe and the LOC Chairman, Prof. Olasunbo Martins.
The Vice-Chancellor, University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB), Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun, has enjoined environmentalists to be prognostic in formulating realistic and workable environmental management blueprints.
The Vice-Chancellor gave this advice while declaring open, the 2011 Environmental Management Conference, held in the Senate Chamber of the University, last Wednesday.
The Conference theme was focused on Environmental Management in Coastal and Wetland Areas of Nigeria: The Gold and Challenges.
Professor Balogun said “Globally, the issue of the environment has been brought to the fore as countries struggle to enhance environmental sustainability and Nigeria, being part of the global community is no exception”.
He expressed worry over incidents of flooding in Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan and other parts of the country, which he attributed to result of man’s interface with the environment, through uncontrolled reclamation of coastal areas, dumping of solid waste into water channels, among others.
“Starring us in the face are problems of industrial and domestic pollutions of surface and ground water, land degradation, loss of bio-diversity, air and noise pollutions, which are all very detrimental to our environment”, he stated.
Also speaking at the occasion, the Dean of the University’s College of Environmental Resources Management, Professor Oladepo Adedire, said a lot of the environmental problems experienced by the coastal zone were caused primarily by land-based activities which include over-exploitation of fisheries, coastal and marine pollution, oil spills, coastal erosion and flooding.
The University don, however, charged scientists to proffer solutions on how to reverse the trend of the colossal loss on environmental resources.
Later in his keynote address, Professor Bola Okuneye of the Department of Agricultural Economics and Farm Management, UNAAB, said Nigeria is blessed with coastal and wetland areas which have tremendous resources and high economic potentials, derivable from non-oil and oil resources endowments.
Professor Okuneye, said Nigerian agricultural sector has an abundance of potentials of which different region is notably endowed with.
Analysing the potentials of the coastal and wetland areas of Nigeria, Professor Okuneye established that the nation has abundant resource endowment that could adequately support food security, employment generation and the promotion of viable agricultural exports.
Professor Okuneye, however, pointed out that the nation must urgently address the challenges associated with the management of its coastal and wetland areas, as well as the associated environmental problems, if it desired to optimally benefit from the endowed resources.