Nigerian Conservation Foundation commemorated the 2019 Spring Alive Campaign on Thursday, 14th November, 2019 at Alpha Beach and Lekki Conservation Centre.

 

The goal of Spring Alive Campaign in Africa is to help children, friends, families and teachers to understand the need for international conservation for migratory species. Other objectives include getting these individuals to engage with, and take action for birds and nature. It also encourages the general public to become more involved with nature conservation in their communities.

 

Earlier on the day, NCF team in company of bird lovers proceeded to Alpha Beach, Lekki for bird watching and beach clean-up exercise. Though no migratory bird was recorded, some resident birds recorded include Speckled Pigeon, Cattle Egret, Northern Grey-headed Sparrow, Swallow, Village Weaver and the Laughing Dove.

 

Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director Technical Programmes while addressing the bird watchers revealed that birds are indicators of the condition of an environment. He said: “When you observe that birds are suddenly disappearing from an environment or dying, it shows that the air in the environment may have been polluted and not safe for humans.”

 

Later in the day, the Art and Craft Session held at Lekki Conservation Centre and was facilitated by Mr. Omotoyosi Ogunlende, CEO of 5&10 Kraft Zone. He took the school pupils of Genesis High School, Okun Ajah Community Senior Secondary School, Royal Treasures School and Precious Star School through the crafting of paper and cards to make images of birds.

 

Mrs. Abidemi Balogun, Head, Environmental Education, who is the Project Lead highlighted the six migratory birds the campaign focuses on as White Stork, Sand Martin, Common Swift, Barn Swallow, Eurasian Bee-Eater and Common Cuckoo. She said, ”Out of the 6 migratory birds the campaign centres on, only 2 could be found in Nigeria, which are Barn Swallow and Common Cuckoo.”

 

She said further that this year’s theme ”Bird collisions with windows and glass” highlights the dangers faced by the migratory birds in the course of their migration, ”Birds while migrating across cities usually collide with high rise buildings and glass structures. This happens because birds do not know the difference between glass, windows and pathway, thereby crashing into the buildings and causing their death immediately.”

 

This year’s Spring Alive Campaign was sponsored by HeidelbergCement.

 

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)

 

 

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), supported by her international partners – World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF), BirdLife International and in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Environment, organised a 2-day business forum titled “naijabiz4nature”. 

  

NCF used the forum to bring together business leaders from different sectors of the Nigerian economy to discuss what they are doing as corporate entities to protect and conserve the environment and to share ideas on how to mainstream conservation in the private sector. The business forum also served 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 of the environment. 

 

The Minister (State) of Environment in her opening address stated that: “The theme for this forum ‘New Deal for Nature and People’ presupposes that we need to adopt new mechanisms, processes and interactions to improve on our current interface as a people with nature. Of course, this is to emphasize the fact that the growing development trajectory requires that we find ways of improving what we are already doing to produce a result that engenders a win-win for the country”.

 

The President of NCF BoT who was represented by Dame Marie Fatayi-Williams said: “The concept of this business forum was premised on the fact that business products, practices, supply chains and business models can have a major impact on critical areas of biodiversity conservation and that the private sector plays a critical role in determining how biodiversity is used and conserved”

 

The Chief Host, the Director General of NCF, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano said that: “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. In Nigeria, the need to have the private sector involved in the protection and conservation of nature cannot be over-emphasised. 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.” 

 

The forum had 5 roundtable sessions on nature’s contribution to people; nature for business; nature of oil and gas; nature in health and financing nature.

In attendance were Honourable Samuel Onuigbo, Member, House of Representatives; Dr. Obi Adigwe, DG, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development; Director General of LCCI represented by Dr. Matthew Ojo, Ms. Alessandra Prampolini, WWF International; Prof. Ibukun Ayodele, President, Wildlife Society of Nigeria; Prof. Kayode Ogunsanwo, Secretary, Forestry Association of Nigeria; Dr. Agboola Okeyoyin, Assistant Conservator General, National Parks Service; representatives of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Chevron Nig. Ltd, Total E&P Nig. Ltd, Coca-Cola Nig. Ltd; Shell Petroleum Development Company among others. 

The event held at the Lekki Conservation Centre on Friday, 22nd and Saturday, 23rd November 2019. A Press Conference was held to round up the forum and summarise the discussions to the media.