Extensive Reportage Can Help to Ameliorate The Effects of Environmental Crisis of Climate Change, Biodiversity loss and Pollution- Minister

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The Minister of State for Environment, Dr. Iziaq Adekunle Salako, has said that the press, which is the fourth estate of the realm can help to ameliorate the effects of environmental crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution through extensive and responsive reportage. He stated this on Friday at the World Press Freedom Day organised by the Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment and UNESCO at Radio House with the theme: A Press for the Planet: Journalism in the Face of Environmental Crisis. He said Journalism plays a pivotal role in advancing environmental agendas, serving as a catalyst for change, a watchdog for accountability, and a voice for the voiceless.

He said, “Through investigative reporting, insightful analysis, and compelling storytelling, journalists shed light on the pressing issues of environmental crisis facing our nation and inspire mass action towards positive change. Without such mass actions, we will be unable to win the fight against the environmental challenges confronting our country.

“Ignorance, lack of awareness and appropriate knowledge about the climate crisis is still rampant in our society. Let me therefore in closing call upon you our dear friends in the media for more support in our drive for environmental advocacy and citizenship so that all creatures on earth thrives in harmony with the planet. We know that our behaviour and life styles is driving environmental crisis. We also know that changing behaviour and life style is not easy to achieve. Therefore, we must remain persistent in our advocacy, our awareness creation, our sensitization and educating the public. The doomsday clock is ticking, bringing humanity closer and closer to a “triple whammy” which may ultimately seal all our fate but if we work together, if the freedom of press is promoted, if our journalists comes fully on board deploying their reports as climate actions we will save our cherished planet earth for ourselves and generations to come.”

He called on the stakeholders to reaffirm their commitment to the principles of a free and independent press, a sine qua non for effective climate journalism. He said Press freedom is indispensable to promote transparency, accountability and social justice, critical to communicating the threat posed by climate crisis and making informed decisions to be more environmentally responsible.

“You as journalists have a critical role to play in driving environmental policy formulation and implementation and also in shaping public perception about the crisis. Let us therefore work together, across sectors and borders, to harness the power of media in addressing the environmental crisis and advancing sustainable development.

“Security of life and property is the fundamental essence of government. Environmental degradation exacerbates resource scarcity, heightens social tensions, and undermines stability. By addressing environmental degradation which promote unhealthy competition for scarce resources, we can create not just a more resilient society, we will in fact be cutting off a vital driver of the insecurity currently being faced in our country. A press for the planet at this point in time is therefore most needed if we are to get the public behind global and national agenda like net zero, energy transition, biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction, 30 by 30, ending plastic pollution and such other pathways set forth to address the environmental crisis”, Salako noted.

He said Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC), a Long-Term Low Emission Development Strategy, the Federal Government’s commitment to achieve net zero emissions and her framework for biodiversity conservation are at the forefront in the efforts to combat the environmental crisis in the country. These commitments, he noted, outline the path towards sustainability, emphasizing the need for collaborative action, innovation, and accountability in mitigating climate change and safeguarding the health of the planet for future generations.

“The Federal Ministry of Environment is promoting nature based solutions through tree planting, mangroove restoration, urban greening and restoring wetlands. We are promoting the adoption of more environmentally friendly energy sources including clean cook stoves, working hard to end gas-flaring and plastic pollution, remediating oil polluted communities, expanding our protected areas, addressing desertification, drought, flooding and erosion.

“In doing this, we are fully Intune with the inclusivity agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu which is a key pillar in the eight-point presidential priority. Recognizing the interconnectedness of environmental, social, and economic issues, we understand that sustainable development cannot be achieved without addressing the needs of all members of society. By promoting inclusivity, we ensure that no one is left behind in our journey towards a greener, more prosperous Nigeria”, Salako concluded.

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