The World Environment Day is here again, on Monday 5th May 2017 to be
precise. Over the years, especially since 1974 when its celebrations
actually started, this day has been used by the United Nations to
stimulate worldwide awareness and sensitization of environmental
issues as well as provoke political attention and actions. It has
developed into a global platform and Nations have been adequately
challenged to take concerted and decisive actions to address
environmental degradations.
The theme for this year’s celebration ‘’CONNECTING PEOPLE TO NATURE’’
is a call for all to get outdoors and visit nature, to appreciate its
beauty and importance to our existence. It further reminds us to
protect the Earth and invites us to acknowledge that we are part of
nature and are intrinsically bonded to our environment. The theme
intends to emphasize the numerous ways in which the natural system
supports our prosperity and wellbeing.
According to Dr Mike Clarke, Chief Executive of The Royal Society for
the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Nature is in Trouble. It is pertinent
to note that some of the actions and activities embarked on by our
quest for economic development are far reaching. Some of our
developmental strides are not only adverse but permanent and
irreversible in terms of impacts and consequences.

Prof Ezemonye Picture
Prof. Lawrence I.N Ezemonye (FNES, FSESN) (Professor of Ecotoxicology and Environmental Forensics).
Therefore connecting the people to nature is an antidote to nature’s
travails. It reveals a cocktail of feelings and attitudes people have
towards nature. This year’s World Environment Day (WED) theme,
“Connecting People to Nature” is a call to “Loving nature” and caring
for nature is the ethos enshrined in this year’s WED celebration
worldwide. If people are connected with nature, they will not only
savour its ambience but want to save it now and in the future.
The negative impact of disconnection from nature has been aptly
captured by an American author Richard Louv in the phraseNature
–Deficient- Disordercontained in his book The Last Child in the Wood.
The decline of nature’s resources through human activities has
escalated in recent times.Unfortunately in Nigeria, greenhouse gas
emissions are rising, biodiversity is disappearing at an unprecedented
rate, climate is changing and many of our ecosystems are severely
degraded. These trends can be and must be reversed through
conservation practices, community projects, public campaigns and
I am committed to connecting young people with nature and empowering
them to protect the natural world today and in the future. I advocate
Government policies that encourage connection with nature and ensuring
positive attitude towards the environment from home.
Accordingly, as I join you in celebrating this year’s WED I would
expect more of outdoor activities than lectures and seminars. As a
matter of fact, I shall be expecting videos and photos of picnics,
visits to parks and environmental sites, tree planting and clean up
exercises in strategic locations in your locality and community.
I wish you all an eventful 2017 world Environment day celebrations.
Professor Lawrence I. Ezemonye, fnes