The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA Professor Joseph Fuwape has advised Nigeria to adopt appropriate research strategies that will promote green economy to mitigate the increasing dangers of unbridled exploitation of the environment. Fuwape gave the advice while declaring open a two-day virtual conference of the Commonwealth Forestry Association (CFO), which originated from FUTA Campus in Akure on the 2nd and 3rd December 2020 with the theme Forest Ecosystem Potential in Nigeria ,Opportunities for Green Economy in the 21st Century . He described a green economy as a situation where growth in employment and income is driven by public and private investment into economic activities, infrastructure and assets that allow reduction in carbon emission and pollution. He noted that the opportunities for green economy in the 21st century would stimulate stake holders in Nigeria universities and research institute to conduct need driven research and development and strategic plan appropriate for the adaptation of effective green economy in the different ecological zones in Nigeria.
Professor Fuwape said the forest ecosystem has been the source of sustenance of human beings. He said one salient thing that is common with the human activity is the deliberate disruption of the eco system; this in particular is most salient in the destruction of forest to make way for farmlands and industries. Stressing the importance of green economy, the don said the danger posed by human activities to the quality of life and existence of plants and animal species would have telling effect on humanity if not mitigated. He said the green economy ensures restoration, maintenance and enhancement of the ecosystems and ecological processes for the functioning of the biosphere to the advantage of man and his environment.
Fuwape added that the challenges of climate change are already staring Nigerians in the face, particularly the threat of food insecurity. “It is obvious that Nigerians cannot continue to make a living without doing a green audit of activities. The social environment cannot carry on with disregard for the physical environment without consequences,” Professor Fuwape said.
Speaking earlier, the President Commonwealth Forest Association, CFA Professor Busuyi Agbeja said it is most heartwarming to interface with professional colleagues and scholars on matter that is not just of pedagogic or academic importance but that of which directly impacts lives. He said from time immemorial the forest ecosystem has been the source of sustenance of human beings. He added that from simple cultivation of crops, advancement continued and machinery was introduced in order to meet the needs of ever-growing population. The president disclosed that the disruption of the ecosystem-hydrological cycle, carbon cycle, nitrogen cycle etc., leads to dire consequences on the environment like global warming, desertification, extinction of animals and plant species, thereby leading to food insecurity.
In her address the Chairperson, Local Organizing Committee Dr Victoria Oyerinde said the conference was put together to tap into the expertise of leading lights in the sector and generate ideas that would engender the development of a viable green economy .The conference brought together scholars from across the globe who discussed potentials and modalities for boosting green environment and increase agricultural products.