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World Environment Day: Group advocates stiffer punishment for violators of environment conservation in Plateau 

World Environment Day: Group advocates stiffer punishment for violators of environment conservation in Plateau 

By Faith Awa Maji 

Media Action for Health, Environment and Sustainable Development (MAHESD) says the Plateau State government should review its extant environmental law to capture the conservation of biodiversity and stiffer penalties for violators.

The group’s advocacy comes on the occasion of the 2024 edition of the World Environment Day.

With the slogan, “Our Land, Our Future,” this year marks the 30th anniversary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification, and the 2024 World Environment Day focuses on land restoration, halting desertification and building drought resilience.

According to the group, the Plateau State government “should consider waste sorting, disposal as a business and key into it and also look into banning the use of single use plastics in the State.

“Plateau State government should give urgent attention to the Jos Wildlife Park,” the group’s Programmes Manager, Joel Gomiyar, said at a press conference to mark the day in Jos.

According to the United Nation’s Convention, up to 40 per cent of the planet’s land is degraded, directly affecting half of the world’s population.

It says the number and duration of droughts have increased by 29 per cent since 2000 and that without urgent action, droughts may affect over three-quarters of the world’s population by 2050.

Gomiyar said, “faced with this reality, we are here to enlighten the public to protect and revive the ecosystem which is critical in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“God mandated man to care for and not destroy the beautiful environment He created. It’s expected of us to keep the environment clean and maintain that which God created.

“Most of the environmental risks facing the State and the world at large are primarily caused by human activities. 

“It therefore becomes evident that our actions have far-reaching consequences hence the urgency in the call for us to address these environmental challenges.

“We call for end to indiscriminate deforestation and habitat destruction, end indiscriminate mining and land degradation. Manage gully erosion, end indiscriminate dumping of refuse in waterways, address water pollution and contamination.

“As the Fourth Estate of the Realm, we must contribute our quota to heal the environment by: raising awareness to educate the public about the environmental issues we face.

“Support and embrace sustainable practices in our daily lives, such as reducing waste and conserving energy. Pushing for policy changes by urging the government to implement policies that promote sustainable renewable and environmental protection.

“We must all rise to ensure clean and healthy environment.”

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