Conservationists want ecosystem protected to improve human capital devt
Conservationists across Nigeria have canvassed protection and preservation of the ecosystem in order to improve human capital index in the country.
Nigeria’s ecosystem has been severely degraded and needs to be restored according to the conservationists who gathered at the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) in Lagos to mark this year’s World Environment Day (WED).
Through various human activities, nature in Nigeria has been destroyed with serious impacts. Some of these impacts, according to Muhtari Aminu-Kano, director general, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), are coming back to bite humans through the adverse effect of climate change.
“Destroying the support system that sustains our lives and livelihood are bad because nature is the basis for our living. Nature directly provides us with food and energy so it is crazy to destroy nature,” he said.
Aminu-Kano observed that, annually, Nigeria loses between 350,000 to 400,000 hectares of forest, noting that the best way to avert the impeding consequence of nature is to plant trees which is part of ecosystem restoration.
He explained that “planting trees, we are providing shades and habitat for other animals. However, tree planting must be done right because we need to plant the right trees in the right places, in the right quantity and at the right time.”
He called for massive tree planting to be able to restore the over 350,000 hectares of forest lost annually or risk the danger of ecosystem collapse.
Joseph Onoja, Technical Director at NCF, affirmed that restoring the ecosystem was essentially protecting humanity, adding that without the interference of humans, earth and nature will continue to interact and move in a balance.
Onoja in his presentation on the theme ‘Ecosystem Restoration’ said Nigerians need a healthy ecosystem for them to thrive, noting that even when money is available, the services provided by nature can never be matched.
He stated that the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that look at clean water and life, preventing climate change are the bedrock of global development. He argued that “if we don’t get them right, then our human development index will never work.”
“When we restore the ecosystem, we are also trying to develop human capacity. The success of the SDGs depends largely on our ecosystem because, if our ecosystem is not functional, then we will run into problem,” Onoja said.
The 2021 WED organized by the NCF was supported by Dangote Group, FCMB, Union Bank, Access Bank and Soroptimist International, Ikoyi.