FG urges private sector intervention in biodiversity conservation
Faced with increasing depletion of nature’s resources, critical stakeholders in the industrial sector have been urged to get involved in the quest for sustainable management and use of Nigeria’s biological diversity in course of profit maximization in business.
According to the experts from government, non-governmental organisations and private sectors who gathered at a two day forum on ‘Nigerian business for nature’ organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in Lagos, the need for urgent deliberations for nature becomes more pertinent especially as the period 2020 to 2030 has been declared a decade for ecosystem/biodiversity restoration.
Those present at the forum include, representatives from liquefied natural gas companies, petroleum company, Nigerian breweries, trawlers association, the national park service, furniture makers, forestry association, wildlife society, federal department of forestry, raw materials research and development agency, institute of pharmaceutical research and development, banks and traditional healers association among others.
Minister of State for the Environment, Mrs. Sharon Ikeazor who led the call at gathering stated that Nigeria as the most populous black nation in the world despite been consumed by the desire to catch up with lost opportunities in ensuring sustainable socio-economic development for the citizen, it was important that those whose operations largely depend on nature optimally utilise its God-given natural resources without compromising human existence and the ability of un-born generation to meet their own needs.
According to her, besides the expertise, skills, and knowledge that it would require for sustainable use of biodiversity, funding was critical, hence, the need for key players in the business community to interact and bring on board opportunities to use existing and possibly new and innovative financial instruments for sustainable use and management of the nation’s biological resources.
“Growing development trajectory requires that we find ways of improving what we are already doing to produce a result that engenders a win-win for the country”, she said.
The Minister said Nigeria is already showcasing an innovative financial instrument for a sustainable environment in the area of climate change through the issuance of green bonds. The success of the financing instrument, to mitigate climate change, she said, has been acclaimed globally leading to the successful issuance of two tracks.
Ikeazor observed that the forum was important as it provides opportunities for linkage with the job creation pillars of the next level agenda.
The Director-General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano said the world and Nigeria are faced with two twin evils of climate change and loss of nature stating that the decline was serious as observed by the United Nations in its postulation that the world is at the edge of losing almost one million species.
To reverse the decline in biodiversity, he said there was a need for a change of mindset and behaviour, institutional change while systems and structures also need to change in society.
He declared that the voices of government and non-governmental organisations on the urgency to end the mismanagement of nature’s resources have been loud overtime but that of businesses as powerful players has been very low stressing that this has to change.
The Director-General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), represented by Dr. Matthew Ojo warned that when businesses continue to exploit the environment without concern for nature, businesses may not go on with time.
He harped on the need for the government to encourage business operators to follow the path of an environmentally friendly approach to their businesses, respect biodiversity and preserve the environment.
Mr. Wenceslas Gatarabirwa of Birdlife international canvassed that those businesses that used to be driven by profit, most now work with the government to develop sustainable models for protecting the forest and other biodiversity. According to him, been driven by profit is a major way by which business operators ensure that nature is destroyed.
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