The Director General of the Bauchi State Environmental Protection Agency (BASEPA) Dr Ibrahim Kabir MNES, FSEPH, FIICA, MISPON (Maga Yakin Cheledi) has today led a panel of discussion during a one day stakeholders engagement on Environmental policies and practices.

The engagement which was organised by Sharing Education and Learning for Life (SELL FOUNDATION) with the view to discuss among other things the importance of the environment and also provide solutions to many lingering issues that are directly affecting the environment.

In his welcome address, the Program Manager SELL Foundation, Beji Benjamin Jibe said Sharing Education and Learning for Life foundation is a peace building program for young adults and vulnerable groups, initiated by St. Patrick’s missionary society in West Africa.

Beji continued that, the foundation has over the years engaged in many activities towards peace building such as Farmers -Herders clashes in many parts of the country and realised that Bauchi have become a safe heaven for charcoal making, which is a serious threat to our environment and decided to key in the sector where they trained women and youths in charcoal making as well as many development initiatives towards that direction.

Welcoming the invited guests, the Director General appreciated the presence of the Head of Government MDAs such EHORECON, NAGGW, Members of the Academia, the Journalists, the Civil Society Organisations, the Uniformed Men as well as members of the Nigerian Union of Journalists despite their tight schedules.

He added that, it is a welcome development for organisations such as the SELL Foundation of having interest and understanding the importance of environment for organizing the stakeholders engagement and hoped that findings at the end of the exercise will help in ensuring that the environment is save and protected.

As an expert and professional environmentalist, the Director General who said that Ideas generated at the end of the engagement shall be subjected to further technical deliberations to have a final communique, urged the participants to listen attentively and contribute where necessary.

The discussants Dr Tijjani Garba of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Ishaku Shehu Mbakis of the State Forestry division and the field officer, National Agency for Great Green Wall (NAGGW) Hadiza Muhammad.

Others are the Zonal Coordinator Environmental Health Officers Registration of Nigeria ( EHORECON) Abdulrasheed Usman, the Chairman Bauchi State Network of Civil Society Organisations (BASNEC) Jinjiri Garba and Mai Unguwar Dr Suleiman Adamu Quarters Engr   Nuruddeen Yusuf Mailittafi all do justice to the topic and discuss extensively on the way forward of having a clean, safer and protected environment.

Challenges identified during the program include but not limited to absence of government policies, Enforcement and punishment, Poor forest management, poor waste management, high cost of cooking energy and government policy on subsidy on cooking gas among others.

The engagement further identified some solutions which called all the relevant and responsible Agencies to be proactive, enactment of laws and policies to accommodate emerging environmental challenges, rigorous tree planting activities, and the government provision of land to encourage the general public investing in tree planting business and banned the interstate cutting down of trees to make charcoal or firewood.

Others include sensitization campaigns by key Civil Society Organisations among communities, introduction of numerous initiatives such as schools tree planting clubs (Catch them young) attitudinal change on issues related to environment, laws and enforcement of same and provision of alternative source energy among others.

All issues discussed during the interaction are all geared towards increasing awareness on the importance of giving back to the environment through very many ideas and initiatives.

At the end of the event, SELL team in collaboration with the stakeholders at the event developed a communique that will serve as a working document for the way forward.

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