TIME FOR NATURE - World Environment Day 2020

Today marks another clarion call to all stakeholders of environment as a reflection of our continued interactions and actions on our god-giving commonwealth, most of which has been negatively impacting our environment. As the earth continues to bleed due to continued indiscriminate human and industrial activities it is time to ask our selves the fundamental question of environmental sustainability.  What kind of environment will our generations and ones yet unborn inherit from us? And could we have inherited a better environment if our forefathers destroyed it before it was handed over to us?  It is indeed phenomenal to state that global effort of stakeholders towards ensuring mass sensitization, promoting awareness campaigns and education on best environmental practices; policies and engagements have yielded some positive results. Community participation and the awareness reach of environmentally oriented programs has improved, government collaborations with CSOs has also reached the level of synergies and interactive contributions. This has given rise to policies and guidelines that are gradually becoming community and democratically oriented 
The Media Awareness and Justice Initiative (MAJI) however adds voice to the theme of this years World Environment Day “Time for Nature” and states that a lot still needs to be done in evolving key strategies to ensure that the development of key infrastructures for the sustainability of the Earth and human development are achieved. The Media Awareness and Justice Initiative identifies the region wide destruction of the environment in the Niger Delta where long years of oil exploitation have lead to indiscriminate environmental which has thereby impacted negatively on the ecological balance of the delta and its rich biodiversity. 
The implementation of the recommendations of the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) report on Ogoni land (2011), has been rather progressive but slow and this has led to infractions between the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) and key communities located in impacted areas covered by the Report. There has also been wide spread artisanal refining that has also contributed to the continued destruction of the environment. There is no doubt to state that the continue oil exploits in the delta have led to too many environment and socioeconomic consequences, such as atmospheric and environmental pollution, communal wars, poverty and militancy. The Media Awareness and Justice Initiative (MAJI) calls on government and people of rural and urban communities within the region to ensure increased collaboration, and the adoption of best practices which will be the sustainable platform on which key strategies for the sustainability of the Earth and human development can be built. To this end, MAJI calls on all stakeholders to
1. Ensure that oil spillages and mining activities that continue to destroy our environment must be stopped. MAJI believes that this collective responsibility is shouldered by Environmental governmental Agencies, communities and international Oil companies (IOCs). This would be the bedrock for the sustainability of the Earth.
2. HYPREP and government environmental regulatory agencies should increase its interactive component of the clean up process; this is to ensure that key stakeholders and communities are able to be in sync with its activities and work plans. 
3. Traditional rulers and community leaders have to ensure that activities of artisanal refining and mining within their respective communities are stopped. This is because the burning of crude and coal has resulted in the steady increase of soot in our environment, which has resulted in a spike of respiratory diseases and climate change across our communities. 
4. The Federal Government has to follow through with its plan on stopping gas flares in Nigeria. The Federal Government should explore the effective utilization and harness the commercial benefits of Gas, rather than flaring it and further contributing to climate change. 
5. At best OIL EXPLORATION and COAL Mining should be abolished and other methods of clean and green energy generation be adopted.
Together we can build a better and sustainable environment in the Niger delta, in Nigeria and the world.
Okoro Onyekachi Emmanuel
Project Coordinator – Media Awareness and Justice Initiative