NCF, others urge conversion of global biodiversity to laws, policies
To address biodiversity loss, restore ecosystems and protect bird species, conservationists have called for action by government to translate Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) into laws and policy.
They spoke at the 21st Chief S. L. Edu Memorial Lecture held in Lagos. The memorial lecture is a yearly event organised by NCF in collaboration with the Edu’s family and the support of Chevron Nigeria.
Leading the call, the Vice President, Regions and Partnership, Birdlife International, Martin Harper, also said action by businesses to commit to becoming net zero, taking nature positive action and sectoral reforms must be pursued vigorously.
The GBF plan includes concrete measures to halt and reverse nature loss, including putting 30 per cent of the planet and 30 per cent of degraded ecosystems under protection by 2030. It also contains proposals to increase finance to developing countries – a major sticking point during talks.
The stakes could not be higher as the planet is experiencing a dangerous decline in nature as a result of human activity. It is experiencing its largest loss of life since the dinosaurs. About one million plant and animal species are now threatened with extinction, many within decades.
Harper who spoke on ‘Humanity and the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss’ said there was need to protect ecosystem, manage working lands and restore native cover to avoid emissions and enhance carbon sinks.
He said nature solutions could save 10 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent yearly and challenged stakeholders to massively fast-track climate efforts across countries and every timeframe.
Harper added that the world needs climate action on all fronts as attested by the United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres. Harper said: “We need to stop the destruction, including 270 million hectares of deforestation and protect ecosystems, improve the management of 2.5 billion hectares of land and restore 678 million hectares especially of high carbon habitats like Peatlands.”
He noted that birds face a range of threats with 1,409 species globally threatened, 23 critically endangered, while one in five species of birds are of conservation concerns. According to him, bird’s populations are in decline and the extinction risk is escalating as about 436 species of birds moved to higher threat category due to deterioration in status.
He called for action by government to translate Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF) into laws and policies backed up by funding, adding that action by business to commit to becoming net zero and nature positive, take action and call for sector reform.
The Chairman, National Executive Council, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Chief Ede Dafinone, said the theme is opportunity to discuss urgent environmental conservation matters and mobilise urgent actions towards saving ‘our world by all and sundry’.
He said: “Our planet’s biodiversity is in crisis and declining at a faster and unprecedented rate than at any other time in human history. Wildlife is disappearing from their natural habitats and species are being decimated and becoming extinct at an alarming rate due to unsustainable utilization and destruction of wildlife habitats by humans.
“The devastation that climate change is causing and will continue to cause means that large-scale action is required immediately. Desertification, herder-farmer clash, drought and others are few of the climate change crises staring us in the face. As stakeholders, from the government to the academia, to businesses, to media and all, we gathered with a singular motive of discussing and providing some logical solutions to these existential issues and propose same to the appropriate bodies.”