Akwa, who spoke during a special programme in commemoration of this year’s World Environment Day at the Arena Event Centre in Port Harcourt, stated that the degradation of the ecosystem had become a global challenge.

The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, who was represented by his Special Adviser Technical, Engr. Ubong James said that the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic had reminded mankind of the harm that could be inflicted on nature by reckless abuse of what we consume and how important it was to protect the environment.

Akwa said: “It is expected that by the year 2050, 95 per cent of the earth’s land will be degraded if nothing is done to restore the ecosystem. If we are to reverse this ecological crisis and restore the ecosystem for the future generation, we must begin now by bridge the gap between rhetoric and reality and turn pledges into immediate action.”

The NDDC boss further stated that the Commission had a mandate to proffer a lasting solution to the socio-economic difficulties in the Niger Delta region and turn it into “a region that is economically regenerative and politically peaceful.”

He assured that the NDDC Directorate of Environment Protection and Control would always ensure that its activities were carried out in an environmentally friendly manner, stating: “The Commission carries out sensitization activities such as awareness campaign, identification of oil spill sites, heavy metal locations and potential erosion sites.

“Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, is essentially conducted in most of our major projects before they are awarded and executed. This is in line with the EIA Act of 1992 supervised by the Federal Ministry of Environment.”

Earlier in a welcome address, the NDDC Director, Environment Protection and Control, Engr. Onuoha Obeka observed that ecosystem restoration simply meant preventing, halting and reversing the damage caused by environmental degradation.

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