EARTH DAY 2012 --- A clarion call to save mother earth
ADESINA Omobolanle April 26, 2012
Despite the controversy as to who started the idea and which day best suits the idea, Earth Day is an annual day on which events are held worldwide to increase awareness and appreciation of the Earth's natural environment and to present a front against environmental degradation
Presently, the Earth Day is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network and is celebrated in more than 175 countries every year. In 2009, the United Nations adopted April 22 International Mother Earth Day.
A school of thought believed that the name and concept of Earth Day was allegedly pioneered by John McConnell in 1969. The equinoctial Earth Day is celebrated on the March equinox (around March 20) to mark the precise moment of astronomical mid-spring in the Northern Hemisphere, and of astronomical mid-autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. An equinox in astronomy is that moment in time when the center of the Sun can be observed to be directly "above" the Earth's equator, occurring around March 20 and September 23 each year
John McConnell first introduced the idea of a global holiday called "Earth Day" at the 1969 UNESCO Conference on the Environment. The first Earth Day proclamation was issued by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto on March 21, 1970. Celebrations were held in various cities, such as San Francisco and in Davis, California with a multi-day street party. According to the school of thought, the UN Secretary-General then, U Thant supported McConnell's global initiative to celebrate this annual event; and on February 26, 1971, he signed a proclamation to that effect, saying:
“May there be only peaceful and cheerful Earth Days to come for our beautiful Spaceship Earth as it continues to spin and circle in frigid space with its warm and fragile cargo of animate life”.
THE MANY WONDERS OF JATROPHA
ADIGUN Oluwaseun April 23, 2012
It’s just a tree. A tree with many parts with valuable function. Ever heard of the Jatropha tree? You will marvel at the wonders it could perform. On hearing Jatropha tree with the diverse role it could play, I remember growing up in an environment where survival depends on the yields gotten from Palm tree. No part of it is considered as a waste. Right from the seeds to the fronds and to the stem, such is the case with Jatropha; that is the tree whose product could take the place of fossil fuel in the country.
With the alarming rate at which Carbon-dioxide is released into the atmosphere and its catastrophic effect caused by the burning of fossil fuel, development experts have identified the two basic principles of ensuring meaningful growth and progress of any economy. These ingredients include the people’s ability to conquer their natural environment and the development of super structures.
Taking a look at Nigeria’s economy and its dependence on oil resources which has led to the total neglect of other natural resources and with the instability of the oil price at the international market, the country’s only source of revenue came under serious threat. The threat became real with the government’s constant cry of diminishing funds to move economic activities.
Seeing the looming danger, different governments have made attempts so far to solve the power problem through the alternative energy option. Some governments embarked converting sun energy to power; others have embraced the Bio-gas project scheme.
As the problem persists, agriculture which seemed to have been neglected , the sector appears to have the answer for the nations’ economic recovery, not only in the area of food and raw material production but also in energy production. This can be achieved if Jatropha tree is given a chance.
The fruit's poisonous seeds have been mainly used for medicinal purposes, but in recent years, researchers have discovered that the oil in the seeds can be processed into high-quality diesel fuel.
‘Lack of enlightenment, not Climate Change, is the major reason for environmental challenges in Africa’ - Dr Neville Sweijd
By ODEDEYI Abiodun
13 April, 2012
Early warning systems has been identify as one of the mechanism that will reduce climate change effects in the Africa.
Dr Neville Sweijd of the Applied Center for Climate and Earth Systems Science, South Africa shared this view while delivering a paper at the just concluded fourth Lagos Climate Change Summit in Lagos, Nigeria.
Dr. Neville noted that most of climate change effects such as flood, heat wave, and bush fire have common areas and season of occurrence.
‘What needs to be done’, he said, ‘is to put in place projects that will combat this challenges’.
He used the case of South Africa where drainages are build in flood prone areas while residents are move to safer locations prior to the beginning of raining season.
Dr. Neville also noted that poverty is a major challenge in the fight against climate change. He expressed his view with situation in some part of Makoko and Ajegunle areas of Lagos where dirt and waste reigns. He noted that such place gives room to common natural causes to become a national disaster.
He challenges government to be more proactive in the area of environmental management, shifting baselines, identifying of harms way, shifting of baselines among others.
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Green-It Front Page
From The Publisher
This is a publication of necessity. For over a decade, this concept has been on the cards. I always knew, we will do it but could not put a finger to its commencement date.
AND THE DESERT ENCROACHES…
The statistics on desertification in Africa is alarming, for most nations of the continent, especially those in North Africa, the “sand” is a feared enemy. In Nigeria, the situation is not much different, the desert is expanding, Lake Chad is a shadow of itself, people are being displaced and pastoralists in search of pasture clash with farmers. If the trend persists, the consequences will be dire. In this report, OluseyiAdegbola examines issues crucial to the fight to stop desertification.
In Bauchi, a state in Northern Nigeria, they drift along the cobbled streets, often barefoot.When the heat of the sun becomes unbearable, they take shelter beneath extended eaves, behind large plywood doors, in shady alleys – anyplace that’s hidden enough but with sufficiently quick access to the main streets where they resume their trade – begging alms when the sun goes down. Their skin is fair, hair curly, and by their features, you could quickly discern that they are not from around here.They are natives of the Republic of Chad, an African country ravaged by war, drought, desertification and famine; they are here seeking to preserve a livelihood which the desert stole from them.
WANGARI MAATHAI- BACK TO NATURE
“The planting of trees is the planting of ideas. By starting with the simple act of planting a tree, we give hope to ourselves and to future generations”.–Wangari Maathai
As a child Wangari Maathai, Africa’s first female environmentalist to win the Nobel peace prize (2004), adored the sites of nature- the hundreds of tadpoles that enjoyed the freshness of the marshy waters in the village, and the green natural expanse. To her, this was perfection as the environment all around exudes the warmth of nature and the peaceable state of Mother Nature.
PERSONALITY INTERVIEW: NNIMMO BASSEY
The state of the environment is at the centre stage of global discourse. Nations are faced with ecological disasters: floods, drought and desertification among other environmental hazards which to a large extent have been accepted as being effects of climate change.
Amidst these tragic events, renowned environmentalist and chairman, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth International, Nnimmo Bassey speaks with Green-IT reporter Oluseyi Adegbola on issues critical to the preserving of our environment.
PERSONALITY INTERVIEW: OMISORE
“Green Building is a must… a government providing mass housing for her people is exercising a social and political responsibility” - Omisore
The state of our environment is a critical issue that deserves the attention of all, government, organized professionals and technocrats. In this light Chief Tokunbo Omisore, the incumbent president of Africa Union of Architects (AUA) bares his mind on related and germane issues. Excerpt:
What is the vision and mission you want to enliven as the helmsman now at Africa Union of Architects, AUA?
First, I was elected President of Africa Union of Architects on the 16th June, 2011, before then I have been Secretary General in the last 6years. The mission and vision I will say commenced 6 years ago as secretary general but with an opportunity now to actualise what have since commenced with other council members to put in place. The aim in my 3 years as the President is to rebrand the African architect and architecture and this hinges on what you can refer to as the architect and her society.
WORLD POPULATION LEAP TO 7 BILLION
According to the United Nations on October 31, 2011 the global demographic projection is now estimated to have reached 7 Billion from the previous 6 billion ascertained on October 12, 1999 that had been increasing steadily geometrically right now at the rate of around 1.10% per year.