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Everybody needs to be involved in biodiversity discourse – Prof. Oboh

By George George Idowu

The Director, Tetfund Centre of Excellence for Biodiversity Conversation and Ecosystem Management, University of Lagos, Prof. Bola Oboh has called on everybody especially Nigerian youths to collaborate effectively in promoting the discourse of biodiversity and the need to be part of the plan of sustaining the planet.

She made this call on Wednesday, during a webinar anchored by the Nigerian Youth Biodiversity Network in partnership with Transafrica Nature Conservancy in celebration of the International Day for Biological Diversity with the theme: “Be Part of the Biodiversity Plan”.

Oboh who was represented by the Programme Coordinator of the centre, Dr. Mutin Sifau said the speed at which nature is being lost is faster than ever.

He cited the Kumming –Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (K-MGBF) where 196 nations have signed an agreement in ensuring drastic reduction of nature loss by the year 2030.

This agreement they said came as a result of the findings where in the last 50 years, wildlife population have declined by 69% thereby making biodiversity to be in crisis.

According to him, one million species faces extinctions in the next decade if nothing is done to save the planet. In his words: “By the end of the decade if things don’t change we risk irreversible harm to our planet.”

Sifau called for a change of ways and attitudes towards biodiversity discourse amongst everybody in general.

The programme coordinator however highlighted ways that the framework plan can be actualized in Nigeria and the world at large.

He pointed out government policies, environmental laws, educating the people, reduction in pollution, afforestation. On the part of environmental laws, he emphasized the need for proper enforcement of the laws as Nigeria already has most of those laws in place.

Sifau encouraged for this phrase “When you fall a tree plant a replacement.” He also advocated for proper creation of awareness especially to the local people since they are the front runners of biodiversity.

Similarly, Mrs Ibironke Olubamise of National Coordinator, UNDP Small Grant office, Abuja and Abiodun Aderibigbe, Director of Research and Business Development, SEFAAI, Lagos shared the same sentiment with Prof. Oboh.

Olubamise emphasized the need for youth to engage more into biodiversity, environmental discourse and also for them to be creative and logical with their thinking. While Aderibigbe called for everyone to be involved in saving the nature.

He also urged the government to partner with civil societies, agencies, individual who are posed at protecting the environment, wildlife and the environment at large.

In the same vein, Chief Excutive officer Natural Eco Capital, Lagos, Dr. Eugene Itua who was represented by Iklaga Eljah stressed the need to have what is called biodiversity fund just as there is for other ministries, agencies and departments.

According to him, having biodiversity fund will help in saving the planet. He cited explains of what the fund could be used for such as getting advanced technologies such as drones, consulting with biodiversity experts that will help carry out research which will help in also saving the planet.

Reacting, Dr. Ebere Udeh had this to say: “The more diversified we are the more sustainable we will grow.” She also urged for local interactions of biodiversity discourse.


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