Group decries depletion of forest reserves
A Non-governmental organisation, International Support Network for African Development said, lockdown has made people to resort to forest reserve for firewood for cooking, and undermine nature conservation, biodiversity and causing deforestation.
In addition, it also added that the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic has more undesirable implications on environmental sustainability,and has increased climate actions, and exacerbate changes in land use in the country.
The group’s Executive Director, Adedoyin Adeleke who told journalists in Abuja, urged governments to develop policies and legislations for effective implementation strategies to decrease deforestation, and create afforestation and to stop encroachment of forest reserve.
He therefore, said there is need to increase effort towards palliatives focused on the poor to reduce the chances of them to over exploit nature in meeting their needs, which also exacerbate climate change in the long run.
According to Adeleke, the lockdown adopted in many countries, including, Nigeria, to fight corona virus pandemic has resulted in decrease in transport and production activities, among others economic activities, thus, reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
He said: “First, the COVID-19 is zoonotic. Beyond this, about 60 percent of all diseases infectious to man is contracted from animals. Ebola and bird flu are among the zoonotic diseases that have impacted the world recently with the latest being corona virus.”
Similarly, the executive director stressed the advent of the virus highlights the need to strike a new deal with nature, adding, “ we need to recalibrate our interactions with nature, and government should focus on Post 2020 framework for biodiversity.”
He however, opined the increase in water consumption, increase in the generation of medical wastes, which are mostly plastic, among other measures adopted to fight the pandemic also have implications of environmental sustainability and climate change.