Happening Globally

Planners Seek Improved Settlements Design, Biodiversity Conservation

The Nigerian Institute of Town Planners (NITP) has called on governments at federal and state levels to engage town planners in the design of settlements patterns and contents to ensure a better living environment. NITP President, Nathaniel Atebije, who made the call at an event to mark the International Day of Biological Diversity (IDB) said there was a need to build a future where humans coexist harmoniously with nature and preserve the planet for generations to come. The international day of biological diversity is set aside to raise awareness about the importance of biodiversity and need to protect, as well as conserve the variety of life on earth. This year’s theme is tagged “From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity”. Atebije noted that balance in biological diversity could be achieved through urban and regional planning. He said the theme is “a rallying cry that reminds us of the critical need to take concrete steps to restore and protect our planet’s precious biodiversity. The time for agreements and commitments has passed; now is the time for decisive action. “It highlights the critical role that biodiversity plays in sustaining ecosystems, providing essential resources and supporting human wellbeing. It is an opportunity to promote and enhance understanding of the value of biodiversity for our planet and encourage actions that preserve, as well as sustainably manage biodiversity.” The institute called on people and governments to recommit themselves to the cause of protecting and conserving the planet’s biodiversity, as well as recognise that human well-being is intricately linked to the health of ecosystems and the diversity of life they support. He said: “Biological biodiversity and urban planning are interconnected and inseparable, while integrating considerations of biodiversity into urban planning is crucial for creating sustainable, resilient and livable cities.” “We must promote sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, ensuring that we meet our needs, while safeguarding the health of our ecosystems. Conservation efforts should extend beyond protected areas and national parks. “We need to integrate biodiversity considerations into all sectors, from urban planning to energy production. By promoting sustainable development and responsible consumption, we can reduce our ecological footprint and ensure a brighter future for all life on Earth. “Education and awareness are vital tools in the preservation of biodiversity. We must foster a deep appreciation for nature in our children and instill a sense of responsibility towards the environment. By engaging in scientific research, sharing knowledge, and supporting initiatives that promote conservation.” He further expressed concern that human activities have put immense pressure on natural systems, leading to the loss of biodiversity at an alarming rate, adding that deforestation, pollution, habitat destruction and climate change are key drivers that threaten the delicate web of life on Earth. “We cannot ignore the fact that these actions have severe consequences, not only for the species facing extinction but also for our own well-being. The loss of biodiversity has far-reaching implications for our planet. Ecosystems provide us with vital services, such as clean air, water and food. “They regulate climate, pollinate crops and compromise our own survival and that of future generations. However, there is hope. We have the power to make a positive change and preserve biodiversity for future generations. It begins with recognising the value of nature and understanding our interconnectedness with all living things.”

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