Globally, the loss of biodiversity is on the increase with devastating consequences and not enough is being done to stem the tide. The private sector plays a critical role in determining how biodiversity is used and conserved therefore the sector serves as a major stakeholder in biodiversity conservation. Business products, practices, supply chains, and business models can have a major impact on critical areas of biodiversity conservation. Further, it has been shown that there are clear benefits to businesses in improving environmental performance.
In Nigeria, the need to have the private sector involved in the protection and conservation of nature cannot be overemphasised. Currently, Nigeria ranks as one of the countries with the highest rate of deforestation with 350,000 to 400,000 hectares lost annually. The loss of such habitat is not only detrimental to the well-being of species, but to people and businesses. The private economic sectors of the country – Mining, Agriculture, Fishing, Finance and Banking, Oil and Gas, Pharmaceuticals, Manufacturing, etc; all depend either directly or indirectly on nature or the services provided by nature which therefore makes business sense for the private sector to invest in the conservation and protection of the ecosystem.
Several companies in the different sectors are taking actions for biodiversity conservation in their operations however such actions are not widely shared and best practices are not being promoted. Further, there is little evidence of companies collaborating and taking collective actions for Nature.
It is based on these needs and more, that the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) with support from its international Partners – World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), BirdLife International and in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Environment is organizing a 2 – day Forum titled “Naija Biz4Nature”.
This Forum hopes to bring industry players from different sectors of the Nigerian economy to discuss what they are doing as corporate entities to protect biodiversity and to cross-fertilize ideas from different players on how to properly mainstream conservation in the private sector. It will also serve as a vehicle to advise Governments on what needs to be done to create a conducive atmosphere that will foster the effective participation of the Private Sector in the effort to stop the rapid decline in Nature.
The event holds at the Lekki Conservation Centre – a true reflection of habitat recovery and an example of an urban forestry. (Attendance is strictly by attendance)