NCF Intensify Campaign on Combatting Illegal Wildlife Trade

Monday, 12 April 2021 20:49

 

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) organised workshops tagged ‘Regional Common Action Plan on Combatting Illegal Wildlife Trade (IWT) in Abeokuta and Kano on 26th and 30th March respectively.

 

The objectives of the workshops were to improve awareness on the Illegal Wildlife Trade issue with vulture as target species, to bring to front burner, the common challenges and limitations against enforcement of wildlife laws in Nigeria, sensitize the enforcement and border control agencies on the need to get more knowledge, understand the law and intensify efforts on enforcement.

 

Illegal wildlife trade as fourth transnational crime in global rating poses threats to biodiversity comprising iconic animals such as elephants, rhinos, leopards and pangolins while birds such as vultures and African grey parrot are not exempted from this threat. 

 

It was revealed that the Nigeria Customs Service, made several seizures by profiling the containers, elephant tusks, pangolin scales, rhino horn. It was also revealed that majority of 1,169 forest reserves in Nigeria suffer neglect, degradation, poaching and are not properly managed.

 

Some of the challenges against curbing the menace of Illegal Wildlife Trade include shortage of forest guards, high rate of poverty among forest dwellers, over-dependency on the forest resources, lack of modern facilities and equipment to manage the forests and lack of environmental education among Nigerians.

 

Reviewing the existing laws to make penalties stiffer and enhancing the capacity of law enforcement agencies in proper prosecution were identified as major ways to combat transnational and national illegal wildlife trade in Nigeria. Environmental education, increased awareness campaign, training and re-training of security agents and more were other solutions proffered at the workshops.

 

The workshops had in attendance representatives of the Judiciary, Nigeria Police; Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC); Nigeria Immigration Service; Nigeria Custom Service (NCS); State Departments of Forestry; wildlife conservationists among others

 

The workshops were highly enriching with presentations from seasoned facilitators such as Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF; Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director of Technical Progs; Mr. Timothy Daniel John, CITES National Focal Point; Mrs. Abimbola Animashaun, NCS WCO Regional Intelligence Focal Point (West Africa) on IWT; Mr. Joseph Assam, Conservator of Parks, Old Oyo National Park; NESREA Zonal Coordinators Southwest and Kano State and others.

 

The project is sponsored by US Fish and Wildlife Service and BirdLife International.

 

 

 

 

 

Loss of an Audacious Voice for Nature: Adieu HRH, Prince Philip- Friend of NCF

Saturday, 10 April 2021 17:44

 

The Board of Trustees, National Executive Council and Management of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) commiserate with Her Majesty, the Queen and the Royal Family on the passing away of HRH, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, on Friday, 9th April, 2021 at the age of 99. 

 

Prince Philip was a friend to the late Chief S.L. Edu, the founder of NCF. As then President of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), he supported Chief Edu in establishing the NCF and continued to give his support to the organization until it became fully fledged. At the instance of NCF, Prince Philip has visited Nigeria on a number of occasions and thereby bringing to global prominence some of Nigeria’s rich natural heritage. The international recognition that the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands first received was as result of his efforts. The area is now officially recognized by the United Nations amongst the Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar site) and is part of the Nigerian National Parks System. On 18th February 1989, he laid the Foundation stone of the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), which was jointly developed by NCF and Chevron Nigeria Ltd (CNL). He also commissioned the Centre after its completion. 

 

We join the rest of the global community of environmentalists in mourning the loss of such an audacious voice for nature and one of the pioneer wildlife conservationists. His death has no doubt left a big vacuum in the Nature conservation arena that is difficult to fill. But his legacies live on. 

 

Izoma Philip Asiodu, CON 

President, Board of Trustees 

 

 

 

 

 

NCF Premieres Documentary on African Vultures

Monday, 29 March 2021 06:52

A leading conservation organisation, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) scaled up its advocacy for vultures with the production of a documentary titled "Our Plights to Survive: Nigeria's Vulture and Wildlife Trade Crisis" which was premiered on Wednesday, 24th March at Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos.

 

The documentary is aimed at intensifying NCF’s campaign on vulture conservation in Nigeria and the intricate link between vultures killing and illegal wildlife trade. The production is supported by United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Egyptian Vulture New LIFE project.

 

The documentary reveals how vultures are heavily traded as commodities in the wildlife market in the South-Western and Northern parts of Nigeria. It also shows threats to vultures emanating from poachers, wildlife traffickers, traditional medicine practitioners as well as many people who perceive the bird as ominous.

 

Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director-General of NCF, in his welcome address, expressed gratitude to NCF members, partners and ‘Save Vultures Campaign Ambassadors’ for their continued support for NCF and conservation efforts in Nigeria.

 

He said that a campaign for the survival of vultures translates to the survival of the ecosystem and other species. He urged the general public to team up with NCF in the war against vultures’ extinction, as NCF and a few other organisations cannot handle the issues alone.

 

Dr Joseph Onoja, Director of Technical Programme, NCF, who spoke on ‘the journey so far’ said that the foundation began its campaign for the protection of vultures in 2016. 

 

He listed the seven species of vultures facing threat of extinction in Nigeria as follows: Egyptian vulture, Rüppell's griffon vulture, Hooded vulture, Lappet-faced vulture, White-backed vulture, White-headed vulture and Palm-nut vulture.

 

Belief-based use was identified as the leading human endeavour driving vultures into extinction. He cautioned that if we obliterate vultures and prevent them from carrying out their nature-imposed sanitary role, we will open ourselves to outbreak of diseases.

 

Dr Onoja added that NCF will sustain collaboration with market women, traditional medicine practitioners and law enforcement agencies in the campaign to save vultures from extinction.

 

 ‘Save Vultures Campaign Ambassadors’ - Frank Donga, a comedian/actor; Mariam Longe, co-host of YourView on TVC and Tito da fire, a musician were present to witness the premiere event.