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LAGOS TO STIMULATE ACTION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY – Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources

LAGOS TO STIMULATE ACTION FOR THE CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

Joins global celebration of Biodiversity Day – 

Lagos State on Monday emphasized its readiness to stimulate action for the conservation of biological diversity through awareness and enlightenment as it joined the global celebration of Biodiversity Day

In a statement signed by the Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Tunji Bello, he added that the State will also consolidate on partnerships with reputable Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in this wide.

Tunji Bello also said that biodiversity was an essential asset that must be sustainably managed, wisely utilized, and conserved for future generations.

Highlighting the theme for the 2022 celebration “Building a shared future for all life” the Commissioner said the theme presupposes that nature must have a natural balance for the survival of all living and non-living things in the ecosystem.

He described Biological Diversity as the variety of plants and animals that live in an ecosystem and highlighted the importance of biodiversity.

“Biodiversity is the foundation upon which the natural ecosystem can build back better and massively scale up restoration effects that will breathe new life into our degraded ecosystems”, he stressed.

He maintained that the 2022 theme aligns perfectly within the context of the ongoing United Nations Decade on Eco-Restoration which highlights that biodiversity is the answer to several challenges to Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) especially, goal 14 (Life below Water) and goal 15 (Life on Land & Climate action).

Bello said the greatest threats facing Biological Diversity today were numerous but pre-eminent amongst them were habitat destruction and over-exploitation adding that the quest by property developers to acquire land for housing projects has led to the wanton destruction of many wetlands and forest ecosystems.

He said over-exploitation of wildlife was also a major contributor to the increasing decline in the population of several species of animals in the State at an alarming rate emphasizing that animals that are facing imminent threat of extinction were Pangolin, hooded vulture, sea turtle and manatee populations.

The Commissioner said the State Government was aware of this development and has continuously taken various steps aimed at addressing them and has embarked on an Advocacy and Awareness Campaign on Wetlands Conservation to the three Senatorial Districts in the State.

“Amongst these steps is the partnership with the Lekki Urban Forest and Animal Sanctuary Initiative (LUFASI) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on the conservation of the hooded vulture, pangolin, and Ekki tree population in the State; these partnerships will help protect critically endangered species from extinction and serve as a springboard for their sustained population in the wild,” he said.

He warned people who engage in the illicit trade and sales of wildlife especially in the wet markets across Lagos state to desist as the Ministry will soon commence State-wide surveillance and enforcement to curb the menace.

Bello appealed to the world to continue to establish new protected areas and improve their management and also take action that implements the convention of biological diversity.

Signed
Kunle Adeshina
Director (Public Affairs)
MOE &WR