Nigeria loses islands to the sea. - 11 May 2010  
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The need to address the rapidly degrading coasts of Nigeria was the main focus of a recent workshop held in Calabar. With the theme “Living with coastal erosion in southern Nigeria,” the forum was organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment and sponsored by the German non-profit Heinrich Böll Foundation.

Attending regional experts and dignitaries reported that rising sea levels due to global warming have caused some islands in the nation’s Delta region to disappear, with residents who have been forced to relocate to safer locations.

Meanwhile, Dr. Victor Fodeke, head of a special climate change committee for the Ministry of the Environment, emphasized the vital nature of the nation’s islands and regions like the Delta as essential areas for living and livelihoods.

Also raised at the meeting was a warning given 20 years ago by Professors Chidi Ibe and Benjamin Akpati of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research, who had reported then that Nigeria was already losing coastal land at an alarming rate.

Minister of the Environment John Odey reaffirmed the Nigerian government’s commitment to alleviating the risks posed by the coastal loss, while a document presented by the Heinrich Böll Foundation included suggestions such as building barriers along the coast, raising the heights of roads and rail routes and reforestation with mangrove species.

The meeting concluded with a consensus agreement on the high vulnerability of the affected communities as sea levels continue to rise, and the need to address the issues at hand.

Our appreciation, Your Excellencies, Heinrich Böll Foundation members, Nigerian government, and all policy-makers working to safeguard the precious Nigerian land and her people.
Let us all join swiftly in sustainable efforts to halt global warming for the sake of humanity and our ecosphere.
In her concern for humanity’s well-being, Supreme Master Ching Hai mentioned as she has many times the urgent solution to our Earth’s fragile state during an October 2009 videoconference in Formosa (Taiwan).

Supreme Master Ching Hai: We also do not forget all the islands in other countries who are submerging or sinking or disappearing or disappeared because of climate change. My heart is troubled every day, thinking of all these innocent people and all the defenseless animals who have to suffer in this great upheaval we call climate change. But we still have time We could stop future disasters by converting, returning to the compassionate vegan diet and encouraging others to do the same.

The government has the power to do this. I beg all the governments of the world, please, do this before it’s too late, for the sake of your citizens and your own children as well.