A Non-Governmental Organization, Earth, Environment and Climate Care Ambassadors (EECCA), has been inaugurated in Anambra State with a mandate to champion climate change justice and teach humanity to observe due diligence in dealing with the natural environment, for the purpose of sustainability and posterity.
The inauguration of EECCA, which happened simultaneously across the thirty six states of the federation, coincided with the commemoration of International Day of Forest, which was first observed on March 21, 2013.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Dr Emma Okafor, who performed the inauguration, tasked the climate care ambassadors to see the assignment as service to God and humanity.
“When you people paid a courtesy call on me last week, I was very glad to hear that a group of people has taken up the task of preaching afforestation and discouraging deforestation.
“As I speak to you, it is disheartening that all the five forest reserves we have in the state have been decimated by our people in connivance with some unscrupulous government officials,” he said.
While observing that tree planting is not new to the state, Okafor however expressed hope that having the climate care ambassadors championing the cause of tree planting will make it more result-oriented.
“Our people no longer plant trees even when they fell them for commercial and domestic purposes. This organization has come at the right time now that the world is seriously battling to mitigate the negative impacts of climate change.
“As the ministry in charge, we shall give you all the support within our reach to enable you succeed in your noble assignment,” he added.
Earlier, the Co-ordinator of the organization, Sir Mike Opia, enumerated its vision, which according to him, is to ensure a sustainably managed global environment and natural resources as well as socio-economic well-being of the citizens, by reducing significantly the negative impacts of climate change on the economy and humanity.
He said: “Our mission is to challenge all harmful activities of man on our environment through intensification of efforts to increase tree cover of our forest reserves, water shades that have been tampered with, surveillance of our forest reserves in close collaboration with state ministry of environment.
“We are also to study relevant legislations and proposing amendment or sponsoring of new bills entirely, at the same time advocate for increased budgetary allocation to sectorial line ministries and finally training and capacity building of relevant stakeholders”.
Opia assured that the organization was poised to support the efforts of the state government towards checkmating and mitigating the effects of climate change through erosion control and assistance to flood victims.
In a remark, the Desk Officer, Climate Change in the Ministry of Environment, Mrs Ifeoma Onuzulike, tasked the climate justice ambassadors to take the message along with them everywhere they go.
“We have taken some steps to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change, but with you ambassadors, I am persuaded we shall now be able to achieve greater results than we had done before. Please, see yourselves as serving God in this capacity,” he posited.
The executive members of the organization earlier paid a courtesy call on the President of the National Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, Comrade Chikwelu Adigwe, who charged members to take the message of afforestation to the grassroots.
He also promised that NULGE would assist EECCA in all possible ways.