Expert Harps on Biodiversity Protection To save Culture

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Biodiversity expert from the Department of Forestry and Wildlife, University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Prof. Edem Eniang said Nigeria’s culture will suffer if not protected as cultural diversity and biodiversity are intimately related to each other.

Speaking at the 17th AKWAABA, Africa Travel and Tourism Market (ATM) in Lagos, he emphasised that biodiversity conservation provides substantial benefits to meet immediate human needs, hence, it is everyone’s responsibility to take precaution thereby conserving  and as well protect the nations biodiversity as it was capable of generating revenue for the nation if adequately harnessed.

According to Prof. Eniang, he expressed that many ecological islands exist in Nigeria with rich biodiversity yet to be documented therefore Nigeria remained a biodiversity hotspot with unique flora and fauna assets, adding that the loss of the nation’s biodiversity was dangerous and the consequences were immediate.

“The loss of our biodiversity will also lead to lack of forest resources such as food or plants for medicines, fewer fishes in the sea, meaning less food for survival, leading to lack of clean water.”

He stressed, “Cultural diversity and biodiversity are intimately related to each other. If we lose one, we risk losing the other. Of the 47,677 species of IUCN red data list of 2018, 17, 291 were deemed to be at serious risk however this reveals that 21 per cent mammals, 30 per cent amphibians, 12 per cent birds, 28 per cent reptiles, 37 percent of freshwater fishes, 70 percent of plants, 35 percent of invertebrates were all under threat, meanwhile between 10,000 and 100,000 species are becoming extinct each year.”

The Don who further stressed on possible solutions to boost Nigeria’s biodiversity said there is need to increase communication, education and public awareness on biodiversity such as eco-tourism, bio-prospecting to benefit local communities, the environment, species and their habitats.

Furthermore, the implementation of relevant multilateral/ international agreements related to biodiversity should be put forward and such agreements as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora and the Convention on Migratory Species must be enforced, he said.

Prof. Eniang also mentioned that Nigeria needs to organise an inventory of its biodiversity, economic evaluation, rapid assessment and documentation for eco-tourism and posterity.

“We need to organise an inventory of our biodiversity and document them for eco-tourism and posterity as eco-tourism provides a unique opportunity to understand the vital role that biodiversity plays in sustaining life on earth and to further stop biodiversity loss by fostering science, policy and politics (SPP) interfacing.”

 

 

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