The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in conjunction with the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, over the weekend had the 2016 edition of the ‘Walk For Nature,’ an education and awareness march, aimed at promoting sustainable environmental practices.
‘Protect Wildlife, Protect our Heritage,’ which is the theme for the Walk this year, is apt, as illicit trade and trafficking in wildlife parts has pushed most wildlife species to the brink of extinction.
Speaking at the event, President, NCF Board of Trustees, Chief Philip Izoma Asiodu, CFR, CON, said that “Currently, some wildlife species that render valuable services in the ecosystem and contribute to the sustainability of the environment have been pushed to the brink of extinction, with many on the list of critically endangered species.
“A case in point is that of Africa’s vulture species which are now at a higher risk of extinction according to the latest assessment of birds carried out by Birdlife International. The elephants, too, are hapless victims of wildlife trade, while pangolins, rhinoceroses, sea turtles, chimpanzees, gorillas and many other fauna and flora species have also headlined the agenda of conservationists in recent times, as more and more of them now make the list of endangered species because of wildlife trade.”
He noted that apart from the economic and environmental importance of these wildlife, humans are also under a moral obligation for their protection.
Meanwhile the Foundation last week, also held its 27th annual general meeting, to review the activities of the Foundation in the past year, as well as chart together a new course that can take NCF to loftier heights.
Speaking at the meeting, Director General, NCF, Mr Adeniyi Karunwi noted that “In the year under review, our Foundation achieved a lot in project implementation, as well as environmental and conservation awareness creation.
“This is evident in the number of completed projects which are spread across all regions in Nigeria. The Wetlands Restoration Project, sponsored by one of our partners, Wetlands International Africa (WIA), as well as the Biodiversity Stock Assessment of Itu Wetlands in Akwa Ibom State, sponsored by Addax Petroleum, were successfully completed in the Niger Delta region.
“So laudable and widely reported was also the NCF/First Bank Tree-Planting exercise in Ogun, Edo and Lagos States, to mark the 120th year of the establishment First Bank. Furthermore, we have continued to be at the forefront in the stakeholders’ engagements for the management of Taraba forests as this falls in line with our forest restoration programmes,” he said.
These among many other projects were the achievements recorded through the Foundation’s efforts on awareness creation and capacity development.
In his remark, Chairman, NCF National Executive Council, Chief Ede Dafinone, said the Foundation is resolute and determined not to rest on its oars, “as we intend to increase our efforts at breaking new grounds in stakeholders’ engagements and awareness creation in conservation and environmental issues in consonance with our strategic Action Plan.”