Biodiversity in Nigeria is under threat – National Park C-G
By Nneka Nwogwugwu
The Conservator General, National Park Service, Dr Ibrahim Goni says biodiversity in Nigeria is under threat from a number of human activities such that everyone’s involvement is needed to arrest the ugly trend.
Goni said this on Sunday in a message to mark the 2022 World Biodiversity Day which has the theme: ‘We are part of the solution’.
He said these activities by humans are reducing the number of species of plants and animals on earth which in turn affect both the health of humans and their environment.
“These activities include deforestation by way of wood logging, overfishing, and pollution of all types, amongst others.
“60 per cent of the country’s valuable forest estate has been lost already at the rate of 4.0 per cent yearly, this is unacceptable and I urge all stakeholders to cooperate with government to stem the trend.
He said that biodiversity refers to the variety of life on earth, including all plants, animals, and microorganisms.
“It is important to understand that we need biodiversity for the survival of all life on Earth. It helps to provide food, water, and other resources that we need to live.
“Above all, Biodiversity also helps to regulate the climate of the earth and provide home for millions of species of plants and animals.
“It also helps regulate our climate and provides us with recreation and tourism opportunities.
“When the effects of climate change come, they do not discriminate between poor and rich, or between illiterate and educated”.
He, therefore, called on all Nigerians to be involved in the campaign for the preservation of the country’s biodiversity in order to mitigate the effects of climate change.
He advised that everybody must continue to build the momentum and support biodiversity preservation in their own little ways.
“Each of us has a role to play and steps to take on our own in protecting biodiversity by talking to our neighbours, friends and relations about the dangers of constantly losing our biodiversity.
“Stop such activities as illegal wood logging, overfishing, pollution of all types, and create pathways for a sustainable future, and lets pledge to do our part in conserving our planet’s precious biodiversity”, he said.
The C-G who enumerated the many types of biological diversity added that all must be conserved and persevered.
“We have Genetic diversity which is the diversity of genes within a species that helps a species to adapt to changing conditions.
“We have Species diversity which is the diversity of different species in an ecosystem that maintains the balance of an ecosystem.
“Ecosystem diversity is the diversity of different ecosystems on earth that helps to maintain the planet’s overall biodiversity.
“We equally have Landscape and Human Cultural diversities, all are to be understood and appreciated to have a healthy earth to live in.”
May 22 every year is celebrated as International Day for Biological Diversity and is meant to increase understanding, awareness and importance on issues of biodiversity.