Dr Ijeoma Vincent Akpu of the Department of Animal and Environmental Biology, University of Port Harcourt, has declared that biodiversity stimulates technological innovation and provides a basic framework for sustainable development for engineers.
Delivering a virtual public lecture organised by the Nigeria Society of Chemical Engineers (NSChE) FCT-Nasarawa chapter to commemorate the World Environmental Day 2020 in Abuja, Akpu who was the guest speaker, noted that major threats to biodiversity include habitat change, invasive alien species, over exploitation of natural resources, pollution, climate change, global warming and underlying socio-cultural conditions among others.
Speaking on the topic, “Biodiversity and Resilience of Ecosystem Functions: The Role of Engineering,” the university don said threats from human activities are putting strains on the natural functions of biodiversity and its ability to sustain future generations.
“If species are not able to adapt to intensified threats or disturbances,” the don said, “the maintenance of biodiversity and sustainable provisions of ecosystem services to humanity will decline and cease to occur in future.”
“Taking critical analysis of the roles of engineering in all these, the forum agreed that there is a need to close the gap between engineering and ecology. Environmental impact of any project must be taken into serious consideration and constantly reviewed during conception and execution of the project.
“To this end, there must be synergy among professional disciplines and review of academic curricular to incorporate more courses and make research focused on practical solutions to human problems. Furthermore, there should be enforcement of extant laws both international and local,” she said
The virtual lecture was chaired by the National President of NSChE, Engr. Onochie A. Anyaoku, who was joined by about 150 participants. Besides the guest speaker, Mr. Abbas Suleiman, Director, Environmental Assessment Department, Federal Ministry of Environment; Prof. Oladipupo O. Ogunleye of the Dept of Chemical Engineering Ladoke Akintola University; and Engr. Tukur Mohammed Lawal, Senior GM, Environment and Community Affairs of Dangote Cement Plants Globally served as discussants, while Engr. Mahmoud Abubakar, CEO, EEMS Limited was the moderator.
The occasion was also used to celebrate the 77th birthday of Dr. Boniface Wada and significant contributions to the chemical engineering profession.