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Lagos, NCF urge residents to step-up efforts at nature conservation

By Victor Gbonegun
20 December 2021   |   3:02 am
Following unwholesome human activities in the environment, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos State Government and other private sector operators have urged Lagosians

Nature conservation

Following unwholesome human activities in the environment, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lagos State Government and other private sector operators have urged Lagosians and other Nigerians to ramp up efforts towards preserving nature and biodiversity.

The experts who gathered recently to mark the 14th yearly ‘Walk for Nature’, an event championed by the foremost conservation foundation-NCF, drummed support for the sustainability of the environment. The theme for this year was ‘Conserve biodiversity; sustain humanity.’

The NCF said it is poised to ensure that the initiative is adopted at the National level, implemented simultaneously in all states of the federation or at least within the six geo-political zones.

With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted businesses and human operations globally, as well as fostered the culture of social distancing, organisers of this year’s event had to introduce social distancing guidelines as viable options to achieve its goals while taking into cognisance the peculiarities of the present time.

Consequently, the nature walk was decentralised and the rallies were held across the three locations of Lagos State, which are Ikeja, Surulere and Ikoyi.

Speaking at the event, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, restated the government’s commitment to championing the cause of nature conservation and promoting sustainable environmental management in the state.

The governor, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources, Dr. Joe Igbokwe, an engineer, assured that the state government would continue to safeguard biodiversity through the introduction of biodiversity laws.

He stated that the introduction of laws would help protect and better manage wetland systems and biodiversity in the state.

Sanwo-Olu described the theme for this year as very apt, considering the alarming rate at which the worldís biodiversity is constantly being threatened.

He explained that biodiversity has to do with all varieties of life which include their interactions with each other and the environment, adding that human activities over the past few centuries have not only impacted the earth but had altered the course of nature via over-exploitation of other life forms and pollution.

On his part, the Chairman, NCF Executive Council, Chief Ede Dafinone, emphasised that biodiversity is the bedrock of human existence and called on Nigerians to live in partnership with nature.

Dafione also urged residents to care for the environment, adding that Lagos State Government and NCF will continue to propagate the message of environmental sustainability to the grassroots.

Earlier, the state’s Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello represented by the Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mrs. Belinda Odeneye noted that conserving biodiversity to sustain humanity is very essential considering the fact that biodiversity is essential to human health, well-being and prosperity.

She stated that biodiversity supports the provision of ecosystem services such as food, freshwater, fuelwood, fibre, biochemical, ecotourism, which are central to economic activities.

According to her, human cravings for developmental changes, plastic production and consumption, illegal trade in endangered species have caused great harm to nature and biodiversity, adding that there is a need to restore these priced resources.

She stressed the government is developing a sector policy on wetland and biodiversity to ensure balanced development where the cause of nature is adequately mainstreamed into the development planning.

“Furthermore, the State through its plastic recycling programme addresses the issue of Plastic Waste pollution that negatively affect aquatic wildlife and cause environmental degradation,” she said.