Environmentalists have advocated the need for reducing emission footprints as part of the solution to the current global economic and environmental crises.
The environmentalists advocated this at the sixth edition of the Africa Cleanup Conference in Calabar, with the theme ‘The People, The Planet, The Green and Circular Economy’.
The two-day conference, which climaxed on Sunday with an award ceremony and dinner night, saw the various speakers listing the benefits of moving from a linear economy to a circular economy.
The environmentalists highlighted the need for a concerted effort to change the present statutory by both the government and private sector to ensure a safe environment and healthy well-being of the citizens.
One of them, Chidiebere Emmanuel, said the present economy of “take-make-use-dispose” was no longer sustainable as the economy had become larger than the natural ecosystem.
Speaking on the topic ‘Existing Relationship Between Green Economy and Circular Economy: Leveraging on Opportunities for Growth and Expansion’, he pointed out that a green and circular economy would be the way out.
Mr Emmanuel said the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of the relationship between man and nature. According to him, nature is in crisis and thus placing human and planetary health at risk.
“That change is a green economy, one that can generate growth and improvements in the people’s lives in ways consistent with sustainable development. The green economy is now seen as a potential solution to the current global environment and economic crises and a potential mechanism by which sustainable development might be achieved,” he explained.
Similarly, Temitope Dosumu, a manager at Geocycle, a subsidiary of Lafarge Africa, said there were numerous inherent benefits of waste recycling.
Ms Dosumu, who spoke on the topic ‘Circular Economy: Managing Waste Through Co-Processing, said that of the 58 million tonnes of waste generated annually, 90 per cent were not properly disposed of, thereby causing environmental challenges.
“Geocycle manages more than 10 million tonnes of waste annually, thus making a tangible contribution to bringing society a step closer to a zero-waste future,” she stated.
Ms Dosumu said some of the inherent benefits of waste recycling were job creation, technological development and a safer environment, among others.
In his submission, Ola Oresanya, who spoke on the topic ‘The Role of Government in Driving Green and Circular Economy’, advocated that the private sector should be the driver of the process.
“Government cannot be the regulator and driver of the process,” he said.
Source: Peoples Gazette.