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.…
The Birdlife Partnership calls on the United Nations to amend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the first time in over 70 years to add a new human right: the right to a healthy natural environment. SUMMARY 1. The historic Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, in the wake of the devastation and turmoil of the Second World War. Widely recognised and respected as helping to guard against atrocities and injustice the world over, it has not been reopened since, but has one increasingly apparent failing: the lack of an environmental dimension. Over the course of its lifetime human development has become increasingly unsustainable, leading to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and the setting up of its three daughter conventions to address the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and land degradation, and the much stronger focus on environmental sustainability in the Sustainable Development Goals compared to their precursor, the Millennium Development Goals. But despite these efforts, environmental degradation continues largely unchecked, with consequent negative impacts on people, in particular the poorest and most vulnerable. 2. Following a series of debates, reports and resolutions of different UN bodies during the last…
Earth Day is commemorated on April 22nd, and this year marks the 50th year of the world standing in solidarity for the earth. Despite the lockdown, various activities were held globally in commemoration of Earth Day and NCF was not left out in the movement for Mother Earth. Dr Joseph Onoja, the Director, Technical Programmes of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) was engaged in a chat where he shed light on pressing environmental issues in Nigeria. What are the major causes of air pollution in Nigeria? The major causes of air pollution are gases from exhaust of cars and heavy-duty trucks, indiscriminate burning of garbage, burning of fossil fuel (mostly crude oil), also from industries. We could also include burning of fuel wood, bush fires and sand storm. Although sand storms are more localised to the arid regions and are natural unlike the aforementioned that are caused by humans. Is there any connection between air pollution and Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI)? Absolutely! It even goes beyond just the respiratory tract infections but affects other organs like the heart causing blockage of the arteries and the brain causing stroke. Air pollution has been estimated to kill over 7 million each year,…
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives through the COVID-19 pandemic and our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones, or who are sick and we wish them a speedy recovery.“ Globally and particularly in Africa, illegal wildlife trade continues to be a growing multibillion-dollar business. Statistics indicate that illegal wildlife trade globally generates between $7- $23 billion annually. Additionally, it is estimated that one out of every four bird or mammal species globally is caught up in wildlife trade. In Africa, it involves trade and trafficking of elephant tusks and rhino horn, pangolin scales, bush meat, tropical timber and endangered birds, including vultures. Wildlife trade is increasingly driving species to extinction, and destroying biodiversity. Moreover, wildlife trade threatens rural community livelihoods, hampers development efforts, and puts ecosystems at risk. Perhaps one of the frightening realities of this trade is the threat that it poses to the health of human beings, through spread of zoonotic diseases - diseases that jump from animals to human beings. In recent past, the world has seen the emergence of animal- borne infectious diseases such as SARS, Nipah, Ebola and Lassa Fever. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc…
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