“Wildlife animals and plants are the basis on which human lives depends in terms of food, oxygen, shelter, and medicine hence, there must be good management of these natural resources for posterity” – Muhtari Aminu-Kano. “We all know that trees are of indispensable importance to human wellbeing & our environment. Nigeria Government has no higher duty than to protect the Nigeria people and the environment” – Dr. Muhammad Mahmood. The Federal Ministry of the Environment in collaboration with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is set to commemorate the World Environment Day (WED) with the theme “Biodiversity” on Friday, 5th June, 2020. The collaboration will deliver a webinar to commemorate the most important annual global event for positive environmental action and use the occasion to call for serious attention to nature while admonishing people to imbibe conservation practices. Leading the discussion is Dr Muhammad Mahmood, the Honourable Minister of the Environment, together with Chief (Mrs.) Sharon Ikeazor, Honourable Minister of State for the Environment. Other speakers are Chief Ede Dafinone, Chairman, National Executive Council, NCF; Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General, NCF and Ms. Katherine Kaetzer-Hodson, Environment, Science, Technology and Health Officer, US Embassy in Nigeria. The webinar will be moderated by…
(In this interview, Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director, Technical Programmes, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) reveals the interaction among business, people and nature.) Q1. NCF has been at the vanguard of nature conservation and biodiversity in Nigeria over the last 40years. What are some of the milestones and challenges of nature conservation and biodiversity in Nigeria? A1. One major milestone that NCF has achieved is the development of the National Conservation Strategy – 1984. NCF has also led the advocacy for the domestication of the Endangered Species Act (Decree No. 11 of 1985), which was recently reviewed in 2016. NCF also played a lead role in the establishment of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) which is the precursor of the Federal Ministry of Environment. In terms of challenges of nature conservation in Nigeria, lack of awareness of the importance of biodiversity is at the fore. Another challenge is the fact that areas of high biodiversity coincide with areas of high poor rural population. This has led to overexploitation of nature, both by the rural population and by external, more organized cartel, who capitalize on the socioeconomic situation of these rural people to exploit biodiversity at a larger scale. Q2. The lockdown…
Dr. Joseph Onoja, Technical Director, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), joined other world leaders in conservation to promote biodiversity at the webinar conference organised Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, on Friday, 22nd May 2020 in commemoration of the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB) 2020 with the theme “Our Solutions are in Nature”. In his lecture titled “The Role of Wildlife to a Pandemic: potentials and challenges”, he said that wildlife (plants and animals) are an integral part of the existence of humans, and nature has created a balance for the enjoyment and overall wellbeing of humans. However, humans in their ‘wisdom’ have interrupted and disrupted that balance. These disruptions have come with its attendant consequences e.g. Pandemics, floods, heat wave, sea surge etc. He then proposed a four cardinal nature-based solutions to the identified challenges. They are sanitation, flood prevention, regulation as well as pest management. He said, “Wildlife have been placed to prevent such pandemics in the first place, but since we have found ourselves in this situation, wildlife will also be the solution.” Other participants include Dr. Kevin Njabo, Department of Environmental Health Science, University of California, USA; Dr Anil Kumar, CEO, Foundation for Nature Conservation, India; Prof.…
Petition calls for action following the largest incident of vulture killings in the world A coalition of international conservation organizations has today launched an online petition dubbed #StopTheKillings, calling for action to address the unprecedented mass killings of vultures in Guinea-Bissau through poisoning. These killings, the largest incident of mass vulture deaths in the world, are a big blow to conservation efforts to save Africa’s vultures. More than 2000 Critically Endangered Hooded vultures are reported to have died, following deliberate poisoning with an agricultural pesticide, which is highly toxic for vultures. Vultures play a vital role in our environment keeping it free of decaying carcasses, yet these majestic birds have experienced catastrophic declines around the world, with populations of all African vulture species plummeting by 70-97% over the last 50 years. In the Guinea-Bissau case, initial investigations indicate that this mass killing of vultures is being driven by belief-based use. It is erroneously believed that vulture heads and other body parts have special powers and can bring good luck to users. Widespread killing of vultures in Guinea-Bissau through poisoning – the leading cause of vulture mortality in Africa, threatens to wipe out stronghold populations of these Critically Endangered birds. The…
 In the quest to keep on promoting conservation message despite the current world crisis, conservationists commemorate the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB) 2020 with the theme, “Our Solutions are in Nature”. The Office of the Minister of State for the Environment in collaboration with Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Federal Department of Forestry, British High Commission and COP26 Region for Sub-Saharan Africa organised a webinar to create more awareness about threats facing biodiversity. Chief (Mrs) Sharon Ikeazor, the Hon. Minister of State for the Environment, in her opening speech, revealed that Biodiversity is the foundation of life and also is about the variety of life on earth that cover millions of species, from plants, animals, fungi and bacteria. She said “The ecosystem is the baseline that holds all of this together. Human interaction with the ecosystem must remain balanced or else we risk disrupting nature with dire consequences. To prevent future pandemic, we must restore, conserve and protect our biodiversity.” She added that Nigeria’s biodiversity is threatened by habitat change, over-exploitation, invasive alien species, pollution and the effect of climate change. Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF who was the Keynote Speaker stated that despite all humans technological advances, humans…
We mourn the demise of a multi-talented, highly achieving lady of very radiant personality, a great Nigerian and a great African who attained high distinction in many theatres of national life, Mrs Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, Commander of the Order of the Niger. Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, neé Pereira, is best known as an outstanding civil servant. She joined the Federal Nigerian Civil Service in 1959 as the first female Administrative Officer after graduating from University College London with an honours degree in Geography. She had started her university course at University College Ibadan, then a college of London University. She was brilliant and diligent and rapidly rose through the ranks in a merit-driven Civil Service and was appointed the first female Federal Permanent Secretary in July 1975. She served as Permanent Secretary with great distinction first at the Cabinet Office and subsequently in several ministries including Establishments, Health, Science and Technology, and Social Development, Youth and Sports. As Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Establishments she is gratefully remembered for getting the Government to adopt the policy of giving independent individual recognition to married women and granting to them the same perquisites and privileges as accorded to the men, eg.…
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