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Improve agricultural productivity to cushion effects of climate change, VC urges FG

By Ige Adekunle [NAN]By Ige Adekunle [NAN]

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Prof. Abiodun Adebayo, Vice-Chancellor, Covenant University, Ota in Ogun, has urged Federal Government to boost the nation’s food supply, through improved agricultural productivity, to cushion effects of climate change.

Adebayo, represented by Dr. Omotayo Osibanjo, a Director in the VC’ s office, made the call on Tuesday at the ongoing Ogun Second Climate Change Convention and Biodiversity Conservation Workshop held at Covenant University, Ota.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that theme of the workshop organised by Ogun Regional Centre of Expertise is: “Climate Change and Biodiversity Conservation for Sustainable Development of Ogun State’’.

According to him, there is need for the country to migrate toward agricultural system by leveraging on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity to achieve food security in the country.

“The conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity and equitable sharing of the benefits from the use of genetic resources underpin sustainable development and human wellbeing,” he said.

The vice-chancellor explained that Nigeria and the world were faced with the challenges associated with astronomical growth in population, increasing urbanization, climate change, fundamental environmental factors such as temperature, rain patterns and water availability.

He noted that scientists’ evidence showed that climate change was likely to challenge the realisation of sustainable development, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Adebayo added that the climate change was projected to reduce the livelihood assets of vulnerable people, especially those that were dependent on biodiversity, ecosystem biodiversity and ecosystem services such as access to food, water and shelter.

“The climate change is also expected to have negative impact on traditional coping mechanism and food security, thereby increasing the venerability of the world’s poor.

“In addition, the impacts of climate change on natural resources and labour productivity are likely to reduce economic growth, worsen poverty through reduced income opportunities,” he said.

The vice-chancellor stressed the need for more researches and actions toward reducing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and increasing synergy of biodiversity conservation and sustainable use with climate change mitigation and adaptation activities.

In his keynote address, Dr. Adeola Odedina, Commissioner for Agriculture in Ogun, said that there was need for conserving degraded biodiversity in relation to ecosystem in order to mitigate the numerous effects of climate change.

Odedina, represented by Mr. James Oyeshola, Director of Tree Crop and Rural Services, said that climate change had constituted a threat to several species, with the possibility of extinction.

The commissioner said that almost a quarter of the species present on land today might disappear by 2050.

“The effects of climate change can increase natural disasters.

“This may cause unpredictable and extreme weather impacts as well increasingly affect crop growth, availability of soil, forest fire, soil erosion, droughts, desertification of food shortage and water, among others,” he said.

Oyeshola explained that with more investment in research, scientists would be able to predict accurately the response of biodiversity to such rapidly changing temperatures and assess the potential risks as well as take measures to avoid negative consequences.

Also, Dr Patience Olatunji-Olayeni, Chairman, Regional Centre for Expertise, Covenant University, described biodiversity as a major part of the earth’s system which played a vital role in balancing the functions of the earth’s system.

Olatunji-Olayeni said that biodiversity disruptions, owing to unsustainable human activities, triggered climate change. (NAN)

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