4th Annual Charlie Wolfe Symposium 2019

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The 4th Annual Charlie Wolfe Symposium was held on the 14th of February, 2019, at the Environment House, Independence Way South, Central Business District, Abuja, Nigeria. The symposium was organized by the Association for Environmental Impact Assessment of Nigeria (AEIAN) with the theme “Information Technology as an Enabler of Green Economy”. The guest speaker was Dr. Ismail Idris while Mr. Deogratias Niyizonkiza as the keynote speaker.

The programme commenced with a welcome address by the President of AEIAN, Ahmed Sanda, after his opening remarks, all participants introduced themselves, thereafter; the chairman of the event, Alhaji Abbas (former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development) gave his remarks.

The Chairman expressed his appreciation for being recognized and commended the great efforts of the association in upholding the standard impact assessment for years. The Director of Environmental Assessment, Federal Ministry of Environment in his remarks applauded the president and the organizers of this year’s symposium on the improvement from previous years.

The keynote speaker Mr. Deogratias Niyizonkiza from the United State of America, (the adopted son of Charlie Wolfe) talked about the life and times of Charlie Wolfe and also of himself. He stated that the environment is medicine and every action an individual take should be towards preserving the environment. He spoke on how he left his home country Burundi, during his 4th year as a medical student due to the crisis that was ravaging his country  at that time and all his struggles in the United States of America, before he met Charlie Wolfe and his wife who showed him unconditional love and helped him become who he is today.

The guest speaker Dr. Ismail Idris made a presentation on “Information Technology as an Enabler of Green Economy”, he stated that all efforts towards achieving a green economy should be safe and sustainable. During the course of his presentation a 3-minute video on the contributions of information technology to sustainable development and green economy was shown. According to him there are six (6) models of Green Economy which are Water management, Sustainable land use, Climate smart agriculture, Sustainable tourism, Renewable energy, Energy efficiency and Sustainable technology. He highlighted the drivers of Information Technology and Green Economy which are: Legislation, Entrepreneurship, Talent, Market potential and Investment opportunities.

The lecture raised a lot of questions and comments from the participants concerning policy implementations in Nigeria. One of the participants (Engr. Nnenna) commented on policy implementation and recommended using available resources to create change. She encouraged other participants to make a difference on the environment at every opportunity available.  Also, a lecturer from Nigerian Defense Academy made a comment that intellectual works are not patented and that is the reason why most innovations do not come from Nigeria.

The programme ended with a closing remark by the President of AEIAN, where he thanked all participants and members for honoring the invitation in celebrating the impacts of Charlie Wolfe in impact assessment in Nigeria.

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