To preserve and tap from the fundamental value that animals and plants that live in the wild add to human existence, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), a leading environmental NGO, is canvassing the conservation of these species in Africa.
This was part of the foundation’s message to Nigeria, Africa and the world as environmentalists marked World Wildlife Day with the theme, ‘Recovering Key Species for Ecosystem Restoration.’
This year’s WWD was celebrated to draw attention to the conservation status of some of the critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and to drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them, which is in line with Sustainable Development Goal 15.
Activities for the day targeted Primary and Secondary school pupils and tourists and they included an educational tour of Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC); deliberation session on how individuals could be involved in the conservation of this key species; sharing of educational materials.
The activities attracted over 500 participants drawn from students and tourists. Some of the schools were Mater dei School, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos; Life Spring School, Shasha, Lagos; God First International School, Ketu Lagos; Acadia Hilton Secondary School, Magboro, Ogun State; Unique Elite Montessori School, Mapland International School, Agungi Lekki, Lagos; Divine Purpose School, Surulere, Lagos; Marigold College, Oworonshoki, Lagos among others.
“WWD is a wakeup call that brings wildlife challenges to the fore. It is always an opportunity to measure our impacts and renew measures to protect and preserve our wildlife,” Stella Egbe, Senior Conservation Manager, the Lead Species Programme of NCF, said.
“First of all, the public must be more aware of the role wildlife plays in balancing nature. Once the public has a clarity on this, nobody will ignore the business of protecting this important part of our environment. Gladly, days like the WWD helps to increase awareness and hopefully, we will get the desirable levels of awareness soon,” she added.
Conservationists believe that failure to protect the wildlife jealousy would lead to great loss of the nature’s gift to humans. Some of them are Ibadan Malimbe, Jos Plateau Indigo bird, Anambra waxbill, Niger-Delta Red Colobus, Sclater’s Monkey, Nigerian Klipspringerand many others.
They believe that continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems also threatens all life on Earth, including humans, because humans rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all their needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing.
Nigeria needs to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species, which have wide-ranging environmental and social impacts. “Restoring wild species is important for sustainable development and to build a healthier world,” Egbe said.