The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) promotes birds conservation through the commemoration of World Migratory Birds Day (WMBD) with the theme “Birds Connect our World”, held via a webinar on Saturday, 10th October, 2020.

 

WMBD is an awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. The day is aimed at drawing attention to the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for national cooperation to conserve them.

 

Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director of Technical Programmes, NCF revealed that WMBD offers ample opportunity on the need to raise awareness about migratory birds and the importance of having them around. 

 

He said, “bird watching is a great way to connect with nature. It is even therapeutic. Unlike in humans, the males of birds are more attractive than the females.”

 

He believes that bird watching impacts hugely on the ecotourism of Kenya, Uganda, South Africa among other countries, therefore, if Nigeria would embrace and explore this revenue generating aspect of the environment, it will boost the ecotourism industry for the nation.

 

“Maintenance of natural habitats is a major criterion for attracting more migratory birds into the country” He added.

 

While espousing the theme of the event, he highlighted some of the importance of bird watching and urged individuals to imbibe the culture.

 

He said “Why should you be involved in bird watching? It is because it is a great way to connect with nature; It helps to keep in touch with the awe and mystery of the natural world; It is a good way to exercise and feel good about yourself; all around the world, birdwatchers form the largest group of ecotourists; and through bird watching, we can keep track of changing seasons.”

 

 

He emphasized that migratory birds are beneficial to us and the planet's ecosystems because they provide critical services such as seed dispersal, pollination, pest control, cultural value, nature’s clean-up crew, helps research and more.

 

A session of quiz also featured in the event and emerged winners to be rewarded handsomely. Participants were drawn majorly from the education, media, environment and religion sectors.

 

The Day is celebrated bi-annually on the second Saturday in May and in October to portray the importance of birds in nature conservation.

 

 

 

 

 

The 13th edition of the annual Walk for Nature scheduled to hold in October has been postponed. 

 

This year’s event with the theme “Conserve Biodiversity, Sustain Humanity” was billed to hold in Ikeja, Surulere and Ikoyi/Obalende LGA’s.

 

The Walk for Nature is a collaboration between Lagos State Government (LASG) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) aimed at raising awareness on varieties of contemporary environmental issues confronting Nigerians. The event demonstrates the importance of nature conservation, sustainable use of natural resources and environmental education through a public rally across designated routes. It equally features calls to action from representatives of NCF, LASG officials, sponsors and stakeholders. The keynote address was to be delivered by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

 

A new date for the event will be announced.

 

 

 

 

 

Actor and comedian, Kunle Idowu (popularly known as Frank Donga), health coach and co-host of the popular morning show on TVC, Mariam Longe and musician, Tito Da Fire were unveiled as ambassadors for the Nigerian Conservation Foundation Save the Vulture Campaign.

 

Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF in his welcome address, acknowledged the Ambassadors for the willingness and enthusiasm shown in partnering with the Foundation. He revealed that humans are fighting nature and nature is fighting back. 

 

According to him, “The fight could be suicidal because nature will win. The fight against nature is a fight against species, vultures being one”. 

 

He went further to debunk myths surrounding the vultures and urged all to come together to save the remaining vulture species from going into extinction. 

 

Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director Technical Program, in his presentation showed that six out of eleven vulture species in Africa are on the brink of extinction. 

 

He said, “Market surveys revealed that the major cause of vulture decline in Nigeria is the use for traditional medicine. Other causes are poisoning, extraction of eggs from nests; habitat degradation from indiscriminate logging which reduces nest sites for vultures; poor perception of vultures as harbinger of ill will leading to direct persecution by locals”. 

 

Dr Onoja further explained that the Save the Vulture Project has pioneered efforts in tackling illegal wildlife trade in Nigeria. However, a more holistic intervention that will address the knowledge gap among the public on the socio-economic and ecological role of vulture in the society is needed. Hence, the unveiling of the ambassadors to help propagate the message and deepen the conversation. 

 

Save Vulture Project is funded by European Union and; United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 

 

The event took place on Thursday, 3rd December, 2020 at the Lekki Conservation Centre and was attended by 30 participants in strict compliance with Covid-19 protocols while others joined through virtual platforms.

 

 

 

 

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