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)

 

 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 are completely dependent on healthy and vibrant ecosystems for their health, water, food, medicines, clothes, fuel, shelter, energy and many more.

 

He said further that Nature-based Solutions are actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits.

 

He said, “Ecosystems like forests and wetlands are critical to human wellbeing and provide enormous biodiversity conservation benefits.”

 

Some of the solutions he proposed are preservation and restoration of wetlands and floodplains as flood management solution; protection of coastal wetlands/ecosystem is a natural risk management tool against coastal erosion; degraded forests can be restored by planting trees; Protected Areas are natural infrastructures that mitigate the impacts of climate change because they sink carbons in the environment. 

 

He further revealed that the SDG 3, 13, 14 and 15 largely depend on nature (biodiversity) to be achieved. Therefore, he advised that governments, corporate institutions and individuals must arise to address the issues affecting environmental sustainability in Nigeria. 

 

This year’s International Day for Biological Diversity is targeted towards raising awareness and building momentum on the importance of biodiversity as well as global issues on biodiversity loss. 

 

Also present at the meeting were Her Excellency, Mrs. Catriona Laing, British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Paul Arkwright, COP26 Regional Ambassador for Sub-Saharan Africa, Mr Desmond Majekodunmi, NCF Council member and other nature enthusiasts.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“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 Mr. Demola Ajagbe, Regional Director, BirdLife Africa. 

 

World Environment Day is celebrated on 5th June every year, and it is the biggest United Nation annual event for positive environmental actions. The event focuses on environmental concerns ranging from pollution, global warming, sustainable food production and protection of wildlife.

 

Every year, the event is used to shore up public engagement and advocacy about the state of the environment and deliberate necessary local actions that will ensure global environmental sustainability.

 

Recently, the International Day for Biodiversity was hosted through a webinar by the two organisations and was widely participated by local and international audience.

 

 

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