Senate seeks inclusion of Environment Studies in school curriculum

Edwin Akwueh, Abuja

According to the United Nations Children Fund, a recent scientific funding indicates that a changing climate has a significant impact on our planet.

Nigeria’s Senate has urged the Federal and State Ministries of Education to include Environment Studies in the schools’ curriculum as part of measures to inculcate the culture of its consciousness in children.

It also tasked the Ministry of Environment to create awareness and sensitise Nigerians on environment issues with a view to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the people.

These were part of the resolutions reached at Tuesday’s plenary, following a motion on the World Environment Day, sponsored by Senator Oluremi Tinubu.

According to the Senate,  school curriculum fails to teach children at a young age about the impact of their actions and their civic duty to the environment.

Leaders of tomorrow
It stated that Children as the ‘leaders of tomorrow’ ought to be equipped with the knowledge to deal with future challenges.

The Senate however, challenged the Ministry of Environment and relevant agencies to create a sustainable and viable framework to counter climate change and its effects in the country.

The ministry was also mandated to create a framework to prevent further deforestation and degradation.

The Senate called on government at all levels to create a feasible framework for realisation of the protection of the environment under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

It stressed the need to accelerate the passage of the Erosion Prevention and Control Bill, 2017 and other environment protection related Bills.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu in her lead debate decried the absence of clear framework and institutional actions to counter climate change and its effects.

“It is certain that if our environment flourishes, we will thrive in all facets of our lives,” she affirmed.

Senator Tinubu listed the SDGs to include ensuring clean water and sustainable hygiene, sustainable urban development, sustainable consumption through increased use of natural resources and reduction of toxic materials, combating climate change and its adverse effects, conservation of aquatic resources and preservation of terrestrial bio-diversity.

Addressing environment issues
The Senate is aware that in the light of Nigeria’s environment issues such as Gully erosion in Eastern Nigeria, Desertification in the North and large scale environment degradation in the oil rich South-South, illegal mining, uncontrolled excavation of laterites etc. there is a need to be proactive in addressing Nigeria’s environment issues,” the lawmaker explained.

According to her, environment issues have widespread effects on the economy, health and social wellbeing of the people.

She lamented that women and children are the most vulnerable groups and tend to suffer more from the adverse effects of these environment issues.

Senator Oluremi Tinubu is the chairman, Senate Committee on Environment.

Tree planting
In their contributions, Senators Binta Masi-Garba and Jibrin Barau talked about the need for the government and the people to preserve the environment for its benefits.

Senator Masi-Garba says every senator is expected to plant between 300 to 500 trees in their constituency to prevent further deforestation and degradation as well as replacing lost vegetative cover in the country.

Commending Senator Tinubu for sponsoring the motion, the Senate President Dr Bukola Saraki promised that Nigeria would continue to play its leading role in Africa on all issues related to environment and climate change, to safeguard the health and wellbeing of the people.

Environment Day was marked on Monday, June 5 and this year’s theme is “CONNECT WITH NATURE.”

 Sammie Idika