As countries around the world celebrate this year’s Earth Day, Interim Coordinator of Association of Tourism Practitioners of Nigeria (ATPN) for the six south south states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Rivers, Comrade Piriye Kiyaramo, has again called on policymakers at the grassroots to factor environmental issues into their activities.
Comrade Kiyaramo, who spoke with travel writers in Warri, Delta State, regretted that “with each passing year, the global climate is getting worse: this makes it everyone’s prime duty to conserve and save mother nature, so that every entity on this planet lives peacefully.”
According to him, Earth Day is celebrated every April 22, globally to create awareness among people regarding its importance and the urgent need to engage in environmental conservation activities in line with global best practices, reiterating that “creating awareness to ignorant people is yet another way to save the and its resources from endangering.”
Comrade Kiyaramo who was recently inducted into the Tourism100 Club of Nigeria, Abuja, commended Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, for proposing a fresh bill to repeal obsolete environmental laws in the state with a directive to the environment ministry and civil society groups to work with his office to prepare and send the bill to the House of Assembly.
He noted that Governor Diri’s action in banning all logging and other deforestation activities across the state as part of his administration’s efforts towards protecting the state’s forest reserves and rare plant and animal species and subsequent directive to all commercial timber dealers to obtain operational permit from the Ministry of Environment henceforth, before embarking on logging activities was a very proactive policy response to mitigating the myraid of environmental challenges facing the state.
Comrade Kiyaramo, popularly known as Mr Tourism, further explained that: “Earth Day provides an opportunity to reflect on and promote sustainable tourism, to travelers and tourism businesses alike,” adding that: “tourism supports the visitation to unique natural and built places throughout the world, inspiring the celebration and protection of our shared natural and cultural resources.”
“This special day is celebrated to create awareness among people on how they can be an asset in saving the Earth from pollution, global warming, water scarcity and other crisis. This year the theme of this special day is “Restore Our Earth.”
Going further, he said: “Most of us know that the world is facing many serious environmental issues. But how many of us know what needs to be done to take part in stopping these global issues.
“If each one of us understands and take responsibility for saving Mother Earth, it will be possible create a change. To conserve the planet, we have to plant more trees, as we as spread the awareness by organising programmes, while encouraging initiatives that will recycle things that can be reused. Each individual can contribute in specific ways to make this day a triumph,” he maintained.
ATPN as a non-profit membership-based organisation, has continuously engaged with governments on the importance of the travel and tourism sector as one of the world’s largest economic sectors, supporting one in 10 jobs worldwide, and generating 10.3percent of global GDP according to 2019 figures from the WTTC.