As State join in celebrating World Wetlands Day

The Lagos State Government on Sunday renewed call for the conservation of wetlands resources in the State, saying they represent a critical part

 of the natural environment.

The call was made by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello in an interview as part of the commemoration of the 2020 World Wetlands Day.

He added that wetlands also help in reducing the impacts of flood, absorbing pollutant and improving water quality.

Bello said that Lagos State as a coastal State has associated with the rest of the world in marking the 2020 World Wetlands day with the theme: “Wetland and Biodiversity”.

He stated that this year’s theme “Wetland and Biodiversity” is unique and an opportunity to highlight wetland biodiversity, its status and why it matters, 

He added that it’s an opportunity to promote actions to reverse its loss as it is now facing unprecedented extinction rates, threatening ecosystems with severe consequences for human survival. 

He stated that Lagos State is seizing the opportunity of the World Wetlands day to sensitize Lagosians on the importance of wetlands, calling for more community participation in wetlands management and conservation in the State.

“This year’s celebration  is dwelling more on creating awareness against encroachment and abuse of wetlands, educating people on the importance of wetlands to the ecology and economy of the State and to foster community participation in wetlands management in the State” he said”. 

The Commissioner maintained that Wetlands were vital for human survival explaining that they are   unique and distinct ecosystem that is flooded, either permanently or seasonally by water and is known to sustain enormous life and also provide valuable economical services to humanity.

He added  that wetlands were one of the world’s most productive environments, serving as  cradles of biological diversity that provide water and engender the sustenance  and survival of countless species of plants and animals.

He stressed that wetlands are blessings to the communities where they exist because they serve as water reservoir, fertile for food and vegetable production, handcrafts and shelter, adding that they provide abode for cultural, recreational and tourist activities.

While emphasizing the vital roles of wetlands, Bello said it is  faced with many threats from human activities and is the most threatened ecosystems globally.

“It is rather unfortunate that enough consideration is not given to Wetlands as encroachment and abuse of Wetlands is a common experience to the extent that majority of the Wetlands in the State had been reclaimed with refuse and in some cases sand filled for conversion to other uses” he said. 

To stem this development, the Environment Commissioner stated that the State Government would step up its monitoring and advocacy programme and ensure stakeholders collaboration for the protection of the state’s wetland resources.