The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has appealed to the Federal Government to create enabling environment for technological advancement for the establishment and promotion of protected areas in the country to protect ecosystem.
The appeal is contained in a press statement issued on Monday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state capital by Dr. Edem Eniang, Associate Professor of the department of Forestry and Natural Environmental Management, University of Uyo, (UNIUYO).
International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in conjunction with World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA), in their inaugural meeting held in Abuja, brought together international scientists and conservation managers to discussed environmental issues in the face of exceptional transformational forces such as climate change.
Deliberations were centered on, “Protected Areas are recognized and valued both as cornerstones for conserving nature and as natural solutions for global challenges, providing benefits to human health, livelihood and well-being; Nigeria as a protected area now and into the future a changing and multiple facets scenario.”
The groups stressed the need for the government to establish protected areas which they said are essential for catalyzing and supporting global efforts to expand and effectively manage systems and other effective area based conservation measures to halting biodiversity loss.
The conservation experts urged governments at all levels, stakeholders and partners to promote implementation of IUCN’s programmes areas which includes, working closely with Global Protected Areas Programme and World Heritage Programme on key priorities in Nigeria.
The release further stated that the Global Programme on Protected Areas (GPPA) in its review in 2010, noted that the global conservation are articulated into three strong areas.
The three areas identified were, valuing and conserving nature’s diversity, advancing effective and equitable governance using nature and deploying nature-based solution to climate, food and environmental challenges.
Facilitator of the inaugural meeting and Vice Chairman, Central and West Africa, IUCN and WCPA, Dr. Charlotte Faid, presided over the emergency meeting, while Mr Sonigitu Asibong Ekpe, of Department of Biodiversity,Marine Protected and Conservation, Governor’s Office, Calabar, Cross River State, as the national focal point.
Mohammad Dikko Bala of National Park Service, Abuja emerged Young Professionals Focal Point while the national Advisory Team had Chief Edwin Ogar of Wise Administration of Terrestrial Environment and Resources.
Other conservationists elected for 2017-2020 triennium are Dr Clement Obin, Biodiversity Preservation Center(BPC)Nigeria and Dr Aniefon Sam Akpabio , Anny-Gee Integrated limited.
Dr Edem Eniang was appointed as Thematic Leaders in charge of Promoting and supporting effective and equitable governance of natural and deploying natural based solution to address societal challenges.
Dr Daniel Jacob was appointed as the second thematic leader in charge of valuing and conserving nature, an advocacy, awareness creation, capacity building and data based creation.
Bassey Willie, Uyo