There is need for Nigerians to make conscious efforts to protect the nation's environment not only for enhanced carrying capacity of life but also because of the crucial role it plays in developing tourism.
According to Miss Earth Nigeria 2019, Miss Modupe Garland a clean environment is crucial to building our tourism attraction. Speaking at a dinner event held recently by INCEL Tourism at the Clear Essence California Spa in Ikoyi, Garland explained some of the factors mitigating against realising the full potential of tourism assets in Nigeria.
She said, "We need to develop the consciousness that we must protect our environment, she says. There is so much beauty in our natural space, however the dirt and disorderliness in our streets and neighborhoods is actually a disincentive to many holiday goers and vacationers coming into Africa. Recently Rwanda has outpaced many nations in its health and environmental policy positions, Kigali becoming one of the cleanest capitals in the world.
"Nigeria has a lot of beautiful cities that have become unattractive due to indiscriminate disposal of wastes and the sheer chaos on our streets. It is imperative that we begin to take real care of our environments if we want to turn tourism to a big earner of Foreign Direct Investments."
She said, "Whilst government needs to invest more on roads and public infrastructure, it is still up to us to keep our environs clean and beautiful. Gardens are a simple way of beautifying the environment and planting trees is a crucial way of protecting the environment."
She commended the Lagos State Government and especially the Lagos State Parks & Garden Agency (LASPARK) for their commitment to building and maintaining gardens all across the metropolis. Modupe recently signed a partnership with LASPARK to plant 1,000 trees across Lagos during her reign as Miss Earth Nigeria.
"Trees are the lungs of the earth," she said. "We need Clean Air to attract tourists," noting that a lot of her foreign friends complained about the humidly in the air whenever they visited Nigeria and also complained about the smoke and dust. "We can get cleaner air simply by planting trees." She stated that most people did not realise that trees consume the carbon dioxide in the air that humans produce and then give us Oxygen in return, which is the air that we breathe. "Hence, the more trees in our environment the better and cleaner the Oxygen we breathe."
She is also advocating for schools to include studies of the environment and climate change in their curriculum so children become environmentally aware from an early age. To this end, she wants to get an approval from the Ministry of Education, so that the next generation should be fully aware of human activities causing climate change.
Modupe urged all Nigerians to join in her quest "to make our Environment cleaner and more beautiful for all of us to live in," stating that she is taking her advocacy to Abuja to meet with the Federal Ministry of the Environment and to help "to raise the awareness of how crucial everyone's involvement is to making a safe, clean environment for us and for the tourists."
Modupe said she will be taking her Advocacy on Clean Air, Planting Trees to the Philippines later this September, as she competes with beautiful women around the globe for the coveted crown of Miss Earth at the Miss Earth International Beauty Pageant.
The Miss Earth Nigeria 2019, Modupe Susan Garland is a 22 year old Lagosian, born into the family of Mr. & Mrs. Anthony Garland in Lagos State. She is a graduate of Environmental Biology from the prestigious Yaba College of Technology, Lagos State, Nigeria and works with OLAM Nigeria Limited. She is also an A-List model. Her interests include fashion modelling, entrepreneurship, writing and advocacy.
She said as a newly crowned representative of Nigeria to the Miss Earth International Beauty Pageant, she hopes to use the platform "to promote awareness of our responsibility towards our environment, as an ardent advocate of clean air, and is passionate against air borne pollution." She believes strongly in the use of alternatives to fossil fuels for a healthier environment.
She signed a partnership with Lagos State Parks & Garden Agency LASPARK to plant 1000 trees first in Lagos State and then proceed to each state of Nigeria to do same where she will champion for the protection of same trees. She is also going to partner with RecyclePoints Nigeria to educate people and effect the proper recycling of plastics and further embark on a campaign for a waste to electricity project. She also intends to speak out against open grazing of cattle and publicly lecture for the erection of ranches to restrict same.
Modupe Garland was the face of the GtBank Fashion Weekend 2017 & 2018, and has worked with various designers across Africa including Taibor Barca, Lanre Da Silva. She has also modelled for Palmers Body Lotion, TVC, JUMIA and MTN. Modupe said she enjoys watching movies, hanging out with friends and being with her family.