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World Ozone Day: Lagos urges citizens to be environment-friendly

The Lagos State Government joined the rest of the world on Monday to celebrate the 2019 International Day for the preservation of Ozone Layer and urged all residents to be environment-friendly, stressing that the fight against abuse must be jointly pursued by both the government and citizens of the State.

Speaking at the event organised to mark the day at the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, the State Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello opined that embracing the culture of proper disposal of waste, appropriate waste sorting, regular tree planting and mass transit (pool driving), are some of the ways of mitigating the effect of climate change.

He declared that contrary to the general belief that flooding in some areas across the State was the resultant effect of blocked drainage channels, there were several other factors such as rise in the sea level and ozone layer that greatly contribute to flooding incidents.

The Commissioner, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mrs. Aderonke Belinda Odeneye disclosed that the 2019 edition of the annual celebration, themed “32 Years and Healing”, celebrates over three decades of remarkable international cooperation to protect the ozone layer and the climate under the Montreal Protocol.

“The Ozone Layer acts as an invisible shield that deflects harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun, thus protecting us from the UV radiation, which causes sunburn; long-term exposure to ultraviolet radiation can severely damage most animals, plants and microbes”, he averred.

The Commissioner added that the Ozone is not just a layer, but the protector of all life on earth hence the need for everyone to wholeheartedly support the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol which stresses the replacement of the Ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) by Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

While imploring citizens to support government’s drive towards improving the ecosystem, the Commissioner said: “As we celebrate our success on this World Ozone Day, people must all push to keep hold of these gains by tackling any illegal sources of ozone-depleting substances as scientists and researchers find new solutions and create earth-friendly products”.

Earlier in a welcome address, the General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Adedolapo Fasawe, stated that the Annual International Ozone day for the preservation of the ozone layer is in accordance with the United Nations Development Programme mandate and protocol, of which Nigeria is a signatory.

She said the theme was strategically chosen to address the success story of collaboration, compliance and above all collective efforts in the battle to safeguard our earth and make it a safety zone devoid of environmental degradation, drought, global warming, pollution, flooding and other challenges.

According to her, the event is an evidence of how seriously the State Government is taking the problems confronting the global environment, adding that the greenhouse effect, the consequences of the destruction of forests, pollution of all forms, climate change and ozone layer depletion are all problems that must be jointly fought and won.

“The Ozone is a fragile shield of gas that acts as a protective layer which protects the earth from various hazardous gases and also from Ultraviolet rays that are very harmful and dangerous to both the living and non-living things. Therefore, we must be part of the global team in achieving a sustainable environment”, she disclosed.

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