Wetlands are not waste lands rather, they are wealth lands that play significance role in poverty alleviation. They are life wires to many economic activities such as crop cultivation, fishing, livestock rearing etc.
These were the words of the Project Manager, Living on the Edge, Nigeria, Mohammed Garba Boyi at the World Wetland Day (WWD) celebration organized by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation Living on the Edge Project (LotE) sponsored by Aage Jensen Charity Foundation in partnership with Birdlife International under the Wildlife Club of Africa Phase II Project.
Mohammed, who delivered a key note address titled Values and Services rendered by Wetlands Ecosystem in the Sahel, said that celebrating the 2013 WWD at the Hadejia-Nguru wetlands (the first Ramsar site in Nigeria) was of great significance to promote awareness on its immense benefit to biodiversity and livelihood support in the community.
He expressed worry on the danger that the ecosystem faced in the area as a result of natural and human induced factors such as, drought, unsustainable harvest of resources, and colonization by invasive species.
While highlighting efforts being made to curtail the menace of the threats, Mohammed said the Living on the Edge Project embarked on raising/creating awareness on the need to conserve the wetlands ecosystem, also in collaboration with the communities of Moyori, Kumaganam and Kaska, the project has planted about 15,000 tree seedlings on an estimated total land of about 16,000 hectares. The activity was conducted to specifically reduce the threat of desertification in the area.”
“In Adiani and Buturiya, the project collaborated with government agencies and the communities to draft a management plan for the forest and the wetlands reserve that exists in the two sites respectively and also provided support to communities to engage in some income generating activities such as Bee keeping, poultry farming, mat making and production of fuel efficient wood stove. In Garbi and Buraburin the project supported the communities with tools and other incentives to fight the menace of the Typha grass (kachalla), where Maikwangoli Channel was cleared and free from typha blockage.
The Hadejia – Nguru Wetlands supports about 1.5 million farmers, herders and fishermen. It was estimated that over 300,000 cattle spend the peak of the dry season in the wetlands and 6% of the Nigeria’s inland fresh water fish catch is from the Hadejia – Nguru Wetlands”, he added. He added that the wetlands ecosystem was facing serious threats as a result of natural and human induced factors such as, drought, unsustainable harvest of resources, and colonization by invasive species. Benefits obtained from regulation of ecosystem processes such as Air
The WWD is celebrated yearly on 2 February. The date was adopted at a Convention on Wetlands that was done on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of RAMSAR on the shores of the Caspian Sea. The theme for this year’s celebration is “Wetlands take care of Water”
Part of the celebration of the event by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation was a Bird expedition to Oxbow-Lake sector on the Chad Basin National Park, Dagona Waterfowl Sanctuary, Yobe State, conducted for the School conservation Club Members. The expedition was aimed at creating and building necessary skills on bird watching; identification, binocular use; with mentorship from adult birdwatcher.