The Permanent Secretary Ecological Fund Office, Dr. MacJohn Nwaobiala has given a hint that the Ecological Fund Office in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Environment is determined to implement a broad integrated public awareness campaign aimed at educating and sensitizing members of the public on eco-issues and environment education; in order to carry the people along in its quest at implementing ecological projects for sustainable development.
The Permanent Secretary said the need to embark on this campaign is to address a general advocacy for an awareness programme which cut across all papers presented at the fair; as well as the popular suggestion of discussants and contributors to the various discourse during the event.
Dr. Nwaobiala gave this indication while exchanging views with Pressmen at the close of a two-day Nigeria 2nd ECOFAIR held at the NICON LUXURY Hotel Abuja from 27th and 28th October 2011.The Fair ended at the weekend.
According to the Permanent Secretary, awareness strategies to be adopted nationwide include media advocacy, involvement of traditional rulers, opinion leaders, women groups and school children in reaching the grassroots.
He also disclosed that occasional media tour of project sites will also be a core focal point of this renewed campaign as well as regular interface with faith- based organizations, youth Associations and relevant Non-Governmental Organisations to promote wider reach of the grassroots; where majority of affected communities leave and eke their living.
The EFO boss also promised to deepen the cordial relationship now existing between the state governments and his Office, through adequate consultation and cooperation not only with state governments but also the beneficiary communities in the process of selection and execution of projects, in order to enlist their support and make them take ownership of such projects after completion.
Dr Nwaobiala particularly urged the media to explore its agenda setting potential to lead the way in promoting attitudinal change from acts that hurt the environment and aggravate ecological problems such as indiscriminate felling of trees, bush burning and blockage of drainages with garbage.
The Permanent Secretary also explained that the phenomenon of climate change has come to stay and that only the combination of governmental intervention actions aided by citizen’s cooperation and the harnessing of local technology can enable the country manage its environment. He therefore appealed to the nation’s tertiary institutions and the organised private sector to work together so as to promote sustainable development.