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Tourism expert urges indigenous Bayelsans to protect endangered species

A tourism expert, Piriye Kiyaramo, has called on Bayelsa communities to protect wildlife, saying that indigenous community members are the major custodians of their biodiversity.

Kiyaramo made this call while interacting with journalists in Yenagoa during a tourism tour as part of activities to commemorate the 2023 World Wildlife Day.

Kiyaramo, also the senior special assistant to Governor Douye Diri on Tourism, regretted the increased rate of wildlife poaching activities in Bayelsa, especially the hunting of gorillas and chimpanzees at the Edumenum National Park.

”The state government is determined to preserve all species within the state’s six forest reserves, including rare plant species through a legal framework, saying that the government will not fold its arms to watch the state’s forests being degraded,” he said.

The governor’s aide explained that this year’s World Wildlife Day theme, ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation,’ highlighted the urgent need to work across governments, civil society, and the private sector to turn commitment into action.

He noted that the day allows everyone to reflect on the collective responsibility to protect the magnificent diversity of life on the planet.

He expressed that the secretary general of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Ivonne Higuero said, “Human activities are laying waste to once-thriving forests, jungles, farmlands, oceans, rivers, seas, and lakes. One million species teeter on the brink of extinction due to habitat destruction, fossil fuel pollution and the worsening climate crisis. We must end this war on nature.”

Mr Kiyaramo recalled that this year marked the 50th anniversary of CITES, which had helped to protect thousands of plants and animals, just as last year’s agreement on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework marked an important step towards putting planet earth on a path to healing.

“We need much bolder actions now to cut emissions, accelerate renewables, and build climate resilience. March 3 is World Wildlife Day.

“It is a United Nations international day to celebrate all the world’s wild animals and plants and the contribution that they make to our lives and the health of the planet,” he said.

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