The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), the leading environmental NGO in Africa is championing the cause of wildlife preservation in Africa while commemorating World Wildlife Day (WWD) 2022 on Tuesday, March 1 and Thursday, March 3, 2022, with the theme “Recovering Key Species for Ecosystem Restoration,” at Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC).
Animals and plants that live in the wild have fundamental value and contribute to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational, and aesthetic aspects of human well-being and sustainable development.
This year’s World Wildlife Day 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.
Some of the planned activities targeted primarily at Primary and Secondary school pupils and tourists include an educational tour of LCC; deliberation session on how individuals can 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.
Dr. Stella Egbe, Senior Conservation Manager, the Lead Species Programme of NCF in her reaction to the importance of the commemoration, said “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”.
“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.
We must continue to ensure we reduce extinction rates and leave a better ecosystem today and for the future. The conservationists believe that failure to protect the wildlife jealousy would lead to great loss of the nature’s gift to humans. Some of whom are endemic to Nigeria. Such as Ibadan Malimbe, Jos Plateau Indigo bird, Anambra waxbill, Niger-Delta Red Colobus, Sclater’s Monkey, Nigerian Klipspringer and many others.
Continued loss of species, habitats and ecosystems also threatens all life on Earth, including humans, because as humans, we also rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing.
In Nigeria, we need 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.
Story by Oladapo Soneye, Head of Communications, NCF