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Dangote Cement intensifies measures to curb environmental degradation

Effects of Environmental Degradation

. ‘Collective action needed to safeguard biodiversity, ecosystems’

As the world celebrates the United Nations (UN) International Mother Earth Day, leading Cement manufacturer in Africa, Dangote Cement Plc has reiterated its commitment to protecting the earth through efforts aimed at mitigating environmental degradation.

Speaking on the planned activities to observe the Mother Earth Day in Lagos, the global headquarters of the Cement Company, the Group Managing Director, Michel Puchercos, noted one sure way to address the problems of the environment is through the conversion and co-processing of waste as alternative fuel.

He remarked that poor waste management is a known environmental challenge on the continent and that “Dangote cement is addressing this problem through co-processing of various alternative fuels.”

He recalled that last year alone, the Cement Company co-processed 89,000 tonnes of wastes as an alternative fuel, in the form of biomass, scrap tyres, fly ash, spent oil and greases, just to mention a few.

Emphasizing that adequate measures were being taken to checkmate environmental degradation, he lamented the environmental challenges the world faces, which stem from climate change, drought, desertification, deforestation, famine, violence, improper disposal of solid and chemical waste as well pollution of various degrees.

The key message for Earth Day, according to him, is to act in a bold way, innovate in a broad way, and implement climate action in an equitable manner which supports Dangote Cement’s contributions to SDG 13 and aligns with the Environment pillar of the Dangote way.

The key message for Earth Day is to act in a bold way, innovate in a broad way, and implement climate action in an equitable manner which supports Dangote Cement’s contributions to SDG 13 and aligns with the Environment pillar of the Dangote way.

We are wreaking havoc on our own home – the only home we have, the one home we all share… our continued and careless encroachment into the world’s ecosystems” has damaged biodiversity and endangered human health and well-being.

Alternative Fuel

In his remark, the Head, Alternative Fuel Project, Dangote Cement Plc, Peter Anagbe, said this year’s Earth Day offers Dangote Cement the opportunity, among others, to “demonstrate our contribution to sustainable waste management and the inclusion of local communities in our value chain through the Alternative Fuel (AF) Project. This is our response to the UN’s call to action to promote harmony with nature and mother earth.”

He listed several circular economy initiatives to be implemented such as a community stakeholder enlightenment campaign to communicate the importance of managing and reusing waste responsibly.

As part of the initiative, a visit will be conducted to communities where AF material is sourced and prevented from going to landfills.

Also speaking on the occasion of the World Earth Day, the Head, Sustainability, Dr. Igazeuma Okoroba, explained that Dangote Cement has done a lot to protect the mother earth through strategic actions to protect the environment from further pollution and degradation.

Collective action

Recall that in 2015, the UN established the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals include climate change, responsible consumption and production, sustainable cities and communities, affordable and clean energy, clean water and sanitation, all of which bear on environmental issues.

To mark the International Mother Earth Day, the UN General Assembly President Abdulla Shahid, on Friday, called for collective action to safeguard biodiversity and protect ecosystems.

Nature is suffering. Oceans are filling with plastic and turning more acidic; extreme heat, wildfires and floods have affected millions; and we are still facing COVID-19, a worldwide health pandemic linked to the health of our ecosystem.

“We are wreaking havoc on our own home – the only home we have, the one home we all share,” President Shahid told an interactive dialogue on Harmony with Nature.

He encouraged the international community to accept responsibility for its reckless behaviour, noting that science has shown that “our continued and careless encroachment into the world’s ecosystems” has damaged biodiversity and endangered human health and well-being.

Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet.

Shifting to green

Referencing this year’s theme of “Harmony with Nature and Biodiversity: Ecological economics and Earth-centred law,” President Shahid called for a shift to green economies.

“Let us embrace education, technology, and science that helps safeguard a healthy planet for everyone, including the young people who will inherit this planet,” he underscored.

The senior UN official said that the international community needs to use the tools and targets of the Paris Agreement on climate change and 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as blueprints for a sustainable recovery from COVID-19. 

Panel discussions

Also addressing the opening segment were Bolivian President Luis Arce, and Teresa Ribera, Spain’s Vice-President and Minister of Ecological Transition.

An interactive dialogue followed, with statements from UN Member States, observers, experts and others.

This included two panels, the first entitled “Earth-centred Law to Protect Biodiversity in Harmony with Nature”; and the second, “Ecological Economies to Protect Biodiversity in Harmony with Nature.”

The interactive dialogue called for in GA resolution 75/220, “to discuss the relationship between harmony with nature and the protection of biological diversity, and to inspire citizens and societies to reconsider how they interact with the natural world in the context of sustainable development.”

Make a switch

Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet.

This is the first Mother Earth Day celebrated within the UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Ecosystems support all life on Earth. The healthier our ecosystems are, the healthier the planet and its people will be. Restoring our damaged ecosystems will help to end poverty, combat climate change and prevent mass extinction. But we will only succeed if everyone plays a part.

For this International Mother Earth Day, the UN encourages us to remember, more than ever, that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both people and the planet.

This is why we must promote harmony with nature and the Earth to restore our world.

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