Stakeholders plan strategies to tackle biodiversity, ecosystem threats
To strengthen the resilience of African food systems, communities and natures’ contributions to the economy, stakeholders have harped on the need for more action plans and strategies in addressing tremendous pressure on the nations’ biodiversity.
Speaking during a technical forum, themed, ‘Strategies and collaborations needed in addressing the outcomes of the 2019 inter-governmental Science policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services (IPBES) report in Nigeria’ organized by NIPBES, the Federal Ministry of Environment and supported by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, the Minister for Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar Mahmoud said it is a reality that human being rely on biodiversity to prosper, but, without their development and sustainability, it would be difficult to prosper.
IPBES is a national platform of the United Nations intergovernmental Science policy platform on biodiversity and ecosystem services, which assesses the state of biodiversity, and ecosystem services, in response to requests from government, the private sector and civil society.
The Minister said Nigeria’s biodiversity is in great danger due to several factors, which include; high population and growth rate, poverty, socio-economic and others, which are seriously affecting the resources in the country. He emphasized that policy support for authorities by stakeholders was needed to enhance knowledge and operations of IPBES to revive the sector.
Dr. Mahmoud called for constant capacity building among the stakeholders; the need to catalyze knowledge generation, assessment of the state, condition of biodiversity and data encountered during exploration process in line with the objective of IPBES and for sustainable development of the ecosystem.
Represented by a deputy director, NIPBES, Mr. Tiamiyu Sikiru, he stated, “Nigeria has very rich diversity and at this stage, the rate at which we are exploiting them, is not sustainable. There should be efforts at building capacity in science and policy making, prioritize and address capacity and resources needed to sustain the natural resources for future generation.”
The Director General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation(NCF), Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano who spoke on how to get reliable information on the nations’ biodiversity, said there are a lot of techniques and equipment that has been developed to monitor them but the problems lie in the lack of financial resources in particular while capacity building also needs to be improve upon.He stressed that existing data on Nigeria’s biodiversity needs to be constantly updated to determine those that have gone into extinction and those that have migrated from Nigeria, new species of plants and animals.
Aminu-Kano urged NiPBES not to go into research rather should be saddled with the responsibility of carrying out evaluation of results of research, producing assessment and looking at what already exist, harnessing and packaging them in a way that makes an impact on policy.Contributing, the Conservator General, National Park Service, Abuja Musa Goni said the challenges facing biodiversity and the national park service are enormous. He lamented that most of the forests that suppose to house the nation’s wide animals are almost been taken over by some bandits. This, he stated, needs a lot of efforts by the citizens to protect the forest and for the animal species to be retained in their natural habitats.Represented by assistant conservator of park, Mr. Okafor Francis he said the seven national parks in Nigeria, which protects many of the biodiversity, needs to be well protected through adequate funding.
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