Connect with us

Foreign

Biodiversity at risk as forests cut down “at alarming rates”: FAO

Published

on

The world‘s forests continue to be cut down at “alarming rates,” the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO) said in its State of the World’s Forests 2020 report released Friday.

The 188-page report, which caps a decade of studies on biodiversity under the oversight of the United Nations, examines the contributions of forests and of the populations that use and manage them, with an eye toward forest conservation.

According to the report, forests occupy less than a third of the world‘s land, but they account for 80 percent of all amphibian species, 75 of bird species, 68 percent of mammal species, and around 60 percent of all vascular plant species. But that biodiversity is at risk, the report said.

“Deforestation and forest degradation continue to take place at alarming rates, which contributes significantly to the ongoing loss of biodiversity,” the FAO report said.

The report added that over the last 30 years at least 420 million hectares of forests have been lost to land-use changes, mostly to agricultural development, or in some cases for the production of wood. The lost forest land is roughly the equivalent to the size of the north African country of Libya, FAO said.

The news is not all bad, however. The report said the rate of deforestation has slowed in recent years, from around 16 million hectares per year in the 1990s to 10 million hectares per year over the last five years.

FAO headed the production of the report in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Program. Rome-based FAO is headed by Qu Dongyu, a former vice-minister of China‘s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.

(XINHUA)

Foreign

Kenya raises 42,609 USD at biodiversity event organized by YILI group, Chinese Embassy, UNEP

Published

on

By

Kenya raised 4.56 million Kenya Shilling (42,609 U.S. Dollar) of both PPEs and cash donations at a donation ceremony organized by YILI group, Chinese Embassy to Kenya and United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) on the International Day for Biological Diversity which falls on Friday.

It is the first online livestreaming cross-country donation event between China and Kenya with key information delivered “to be good to nature is to be good to ourselves”.

During the live stream, Chairman of YILI group Pan Gang said YILI group always believes in biological diversity and sustainable development. YILI has been working to promote biological diversity by its own capacity and collaborations with other authorities for the past 14 years.

Max Gomera, the representative of UNEP, states that the YILI group has shown its commitment and action to help our youngsters to understand nature and their awareness for sustainable development.

Chinese Ambassador to Kenya Wu Peng said that the YILI group will not only help wildlife conservation in Kenya but also promote our great nature of diversity in Africa.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Kenya to plant 1.8 billion trees as UN report calls for safeguarding biodiversity

Published

on

By

Kenya’s Ministry of Environment and Forestry pledged to plant an additional 1.8 billion trees as efforts to reverse biodiversity loss on Friday, the International Day for Biological Diversity.

Keriako Tobiko, Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Environment and Forestry of Kenya said that the 1.8 billion trees will be planted by 2022 to help conserve biodiversity hotspots in the country.

“We owe it to ourselves and to future generations and are committed to ensuring that biodiversity will be conserved and protected to continue providing benefits to the people of Kenya,” Tobiko said in a statement during the International day for biological diversity.

He said that sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services is not only the key to economic development but also important to human advancement.

Tobiko said that Kenya has put in place a range of interventions to tackle biodiversity loss the government has put in place an ambitious action plan that aims to halt the loss of iconic plant and animal species since the country is a nature-based economy, with natural resources supporting 80 percent of the economy.

Also on Friday, UN released the latest edition of The State of the World’s Forests, calling for urgent action to be taken to safeguard the biodiversity of the world‘s forests amid alarming rates of deforestation and degradation.

The report was produced by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in partnership, for the first time, with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and technical input from the UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC).

The report reveals that some 420 million hectares of forest have been lost through conversion to other land uses since 1990, although the rate of deforestation has decreased over the past three decades.

The COVID-19 crisis has thrown into sharp focus the importance of conserving and sustainably using nature, recognizing that people’s health is linked to ecosystem health, according to the report.

The report calls for the protection of forests since they harbor most of the Earth’s terrestrial biodiversity.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

COVID-19 pandemic reaffirms need to protect global biodiversity, UN official says

Published

on

By

The COVID-19 pandemic reaffirms the urgency to protect global biodiversity, said Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity Elizabeth Maruma Mrema on Thursday.

In an exclusive interview with Xinhua, Elizabeth expressed her hope that the COVID-19 pandemic could serve as a wake-up call for people to fix deteriorating relations with nature.

“Biodiversity loss presents a fundamental risk to the healthy and stable ecosystems that sustain all aspects of our societies,” she said, ahead of the International Day for Biological Diversity (IBD) which falls on Friday.

Under theme of “Our solutions are in nature,” this year’s IBD highlights that biodiversity remains the answer to a number of sustainable development challenges, such as climate change and food security.

“We must also address the underlying drivers of disease emergence, many of which also overlap with drivers of biodiversity loss,” she said.

“We need to better manage ecosystems to reduce the risks of infectious diseases, including zoonotic and vector-borne diseases, for example by avoiding ecosystem degradation, including deforestation, intensification of agriculture and livestock, human encroachment on natural habitats, resource extraction, prevention of invasive alien species, and limit or control human-wildlife contact,” Mrema said.

Mrema mentioned that linkages between biodiversity and human health have offered a broad range of opportunities for jointly protecting health and biodiversity, and for advancing human wellbeing.

“Going forward, we need an integrated, whole of government, whole of society approach to improve the way we manage the natural environment and interactions with human society,” said the executive secretary.

“We need what is known as a ‘One Health’ approach, where we are concerned with the health, or people, wild and domesticated animals, and the wider environment altogether,” she added.

The IDB was designed by the United Nations to increase understanding and awareness of biodiversity issues.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Foreign

EU outlines ‘Green Deal’ agriculture, biodiversity plans

Published

on

The European Commission presented its plans for more environmentally friendly agricultural production and greater biodiversity, on Wednesday, as part of its flagship “European Green Deal” policy.

The EU’s executive set out with an ambitious environmental strategy when commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, took office last year.

That has taken a back seat, however, during the coronavirus pandemic.

The aim of the so-called “farm to fork” strategy is to reduce the use of pesticides and antibiotics and improve fertilisers.

Animal welfare is also to be improved and the fishing industry is being made more sustainable.

At the same time, it calls for a reduction in food and packaging waste, while proposing the introduction of mandatory food labels on the front of packaging to cut back on high fat, sugar and salt contents and encourage consumers to make sustainable choices.

The strategy aims “to reconcile our food systems with our planet’s health, to ensure food security and meet the aspirations of Europeans for healthy, equitable and eco-friendly food,’’ said EU Food Safety Commissioner, Stella Kyriakides.

The commission also presented a parallel strategy to promote biodiversity, at the core of which is a proposed expansion of protected areas.

Under the proposal, 30 per cent of European land and sea areas are to be placed under protection while 10 per cent would be left virtually untouched under particularly strict conditions.

EU capitals and lawmakers are invited to endorse the commission’s approach, which will then be fleshed out with concrete legislative proposals.

However, it has already encountered resistance from the centre-right European People’s Party, the largest in the EU legislature.

“We regret that the European Commission is hurrying its ‘farm to fork’ strategy now when farmers all over Europe are facing huge insecurity over their future,’’ said EU lawmaker, Herbert Dorfmann, the group’s agriculture spokesman.

But the Greens welcomed the approach, with the spokesman, Martin Haeusling, calling on the commission to “promptly” incorporate its ideas into a broader reform of EU farm policy.

The “European Green Deal’’ aims to overhaul the EU’s economy and channel investments into projects that will see the bloc’s carbon emissions fall to net zero by 2050.

The commission stresses that it should form a cornerstone of coronavirus recovery measures.

Edited By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Fiji launches week-long program to celebrate International Biodiversity Day

Published

on

By

Fiji launched on Tuesday a week-long program to celebrate this year’s International Biodiversity Day, which will be marked on Friday.

While launching the program, Fiji’s Minister for Agriculture, Waterways and Environment Mahendra Reddy said that the program aimed to create more awareness in communities on the importance of protecting the natural environment through nature-based solutions.

This year’s theme is “Our Solutions are in Nature,” which meant biodiversity remains the answer to several sustainable development challenges that we all face. From nature-based solutions to climate, to food and water security, and sustainable livelihoods, biodiversity remains the basis for a sustainable future.

“Biodiversity loss is also closely impacted by activities undertaken by humans which also affects our growth and economic development. The exploitation of renewable and non-renewable resources, energy and industrial activity, and the expansion of urbanization and agriculture are all sectors of the economy that have a mutual impact on biodiversity,” he said.

The week-long program included activities and a symposium for non-government organizations and other stakeholders which recognize their contribution and support in implementing Fiji’s biodiversity and wildlife policies.

The International Biodiversity Day is a United Nations-sanctioned international day for the promotion of biodiversity issues.

(XINHUA)

Continue Reading

Environment

Wildlife Day: National Park boss calls for conservation to halt biodiversity loss

Published

on

NNN: Dr Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator- General, National Park Service, has stressed the need to conserve life both on land and anything below the water to halt biodiversity loss.

Goni said this in an interview with Nigeria News Agency against the backdrop of the World Wildlife Day, celebrated annually on March 3.

The theme for the World Wildlife Day 2020 is “Sustaining all life on Earth”.

He said that the service would always join the world in wildlife conservation, adding that “wildlife is incalculable’’.

Goni said the World Wildlife Day was an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and varied forms of wild fauna and flora, and to raise awareness on the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to people.

According to conservation general, wildlife refers to undomesticated animal species and plants that live and grow in an area without being introduced by humans.

He said that they include all mammals, birds, rainforests, grasslands, encompassing all wild animal and plant species as a component of biodiversity.

“These animals and plants have economic, environmental and social impacts in our lives.

“Their intrinsic values contribute to the ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of human well being.

“We depend on the constant interplay and inter-linkages between all elements of the biosphere for all our needs.

“They include the air we breathe, the food we eat, the energy we use, and the materials we need for all purposes,’’ he said.

Goni said that unsustainable human activities and over exploitation of the species and natural resources were imperilling the world’s biodiversity.

He said that there was an urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced reduction of species.

“Look at the recent cruel and barbaric treatment meted to a stray manatee, an animal found in Delta state and the cannibalisation of a whale washed ashore in Ijaw Kiri community waterfront in Brass, Akpoama in 2019.

“It is illegal to hunt these animals since they are endangered species and therefore should be protected as part of our environment.”

Goni said that the service would continue to sensitise the public on the need to preserve and conserve the nation’s biodiversity.

“We will continue to use any opportunity we have to educate the public on the importance of wildlife in our environment and our wellbeing in general.

“However, ignorance of the law is not an excuse so anyone caught violating environmental laws will be arrested and prosecuted.

“They should be punished so that it will serve as a deterrent to others,’’ he said.

Edited By: Gregg Mmaduakolam/Grace Yussuf

Source: https://nnn.com.ng/wildlife-day-national-park-boss-calls-for-conservation-to-halt-biodiversity-loss/

Continue Reading

Foreign

Combating Desertification: UN urges investment in land restoration to save world’s biodiversity

Published

on

NNN:

 

The United Nations has called on governments and private entities to support sustainable actions to reverse land degradation and invest in land restoration to avoid further loss of world’s biological diversity and valuable ecosystem.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive-Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), made the call at the opening of 14th Session of Conference of Parties (COP14) to the Convention on Monday in New Delhi, India.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that Country Parties to the UNCCD will, at the conference, agree on the actions to take over the next two years to get the world back on a sustainable path to land use and land management.

About 100 ministers and over 7000 delegates from 196 countries are participating in the two-week conference, being hosted by the Indian government.

Among special guests expected at COP14 were India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

“We are fast running out of time to build our resilience to climate change, avoid the loss of biological diversity and valuable ecosystem and achieve all other Sustainable Development Goals.

“But we can turn around the lives of over 3.2 billion people all over the world that are negatively impacted by desertification and drought if there is political will.

“And, we can revitalise ecosystems that are collapsing from a long history of land transformation and unsustainable land management,’’ Thiaw said.

The UN official said that one in four hectares of the world’s converted land was no longer usable due to unsustainable land management practices.

“These trends have put the well-being of 3.2 billion people around the world at risk and may force up to 700 million people to migrate by 2015.

“So, all of humanity will eventually be impacted as we lose more and more of the services ecosystems provide,’’ he said.

According to the UN official, over 70 countries now have robust national drought plans, compared to just three, four years ago.

Also speaking at the conference, India’s Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, said 122 most populous countries, including Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Russia and South Africa, have agreed to make achieving land degradation neutrality a national target.

“If human actions have created the problems of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, it is the strong intent, technology and intellect that will make difference.

“It is human efforts that will undo the damage and improve the habitat,’’ the Indian minister said.

NAN reports that issues on the COP14 agenda include drought, land tenure, ecosystem restoration, climate change, health, sand and dust storms, cities of the future, financial investment, and the roles of youth, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

The international community had adopted the Convention to Combat Desertification in Paris on June 17, 1994 out of concern that “desertification and drought are problems of global dimension affecting all regions.’’

In 2015, the international community also agreed to pursue a global target to ensure all countries work towards keeping a healthy balance of productive land by accelerating the recovery of degrading land, while avoiding and reducing land degradation. (NAN)

WOJ/IAA/AIB

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola/Abdulfatah Babatunde

(NAN)

Continue Reading

Foreign

Combating Desertification: UN urges investment in land restoration to save world’s biodiversity

Published

on

The United Nations has called on governments and private entities to support sustainable actions to reverse land degradation and invest in land restoration to avoid further loss of world’s biological diversity and valuable ecosystem.

Ibrahim Thiaw, Executive-Secretary, United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), made the call at the opening of 14th Session of Conference of Parties (COP14) to the Convention on Monday in New Delhi, India.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN) reports that Country Parties to the UNCCD will, at the conference, agree on the actions to take over the next two years to get the world back on a sustainable path to land use and land management.

About 100 ministers and over 7000 delegates from 196 countries are participating in the two-week conference, being hosted by the Indian government.

Among special guests expected at COP14 were India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UN Deputy Secretary-General, Amina Mohammed.

“We are fast running out of time to build our resilience to climate change, avoid the loss of biological diversity and valuable ecosystem and achieve all other Sustainable Development Goals.

“But we can turn around the lives of over 3.2 billion people all over the world that are negatively impacted by desertification and drought if there is political will.

“And, we can revitalise ecosystems that are collapsing from a long history of land transformation and unsustainable land management,’’ Thiaw said.

The UN official said that one in four hectares of the world’s converted land was no longer usable due to unsustainable land management practices.

“These trends have put the well-being of 3.2 billion people around the world at risk and may force up to 700 million people to migrate by 2015.

“So, all of humanity will eventually be impacted as we lose more and more of the services ecosystems provide,’’ he said.

According to the UN official, over 70 countries now have robust national drought plans, compared to just three, four years ago.

Also speaking at the conference, India’s Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, Prakash Javadekar, said 122 most populous countries, including Brazil, China, India, Nigeria, Russia and South Africa, have agreed to make achieving land degradation neutrality a national target.

“If human actions have created the problems of climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss, it is the strong intent, technology and intellect that will make difference.

“It is human efforts that will undo the damage and improve the habitat,’’ the Indian minister said.

NAN reports that issues on the COP14 agenda include drought, land tenure, ecosystem restoration, climate change, health, sand and dust storms, cities of the future, financial investment, and the roles of youth, non-governmental organisations and the private sector.

The international community had adopted the Convention to Combat Desertification in Paris on June 17, 1994 out of concern that “desertification and drought are problems of global dimension affecting all regions.’’

In 2015, the international community also agreed to pursue a global target to ensure all countries work towards keeping a healthy balance of productive land by accelerating the recovery of degrading land, while avoiding and reducing land degradation. (NAN)

WOJ/IAA/AIB

Edited by Isaac Aregbesola/Abdulfatah Babatunde

(NAN)

Continue Reading

Environment

Biodiversity strengthens ecosystem resilience – Goni

Published

on

Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, National Park Service (PKS) says conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can strengthen ecosystem resilience.

He said biodiversity could also improve the ability of ecosystems to provide critical services in the face of increasing climatic pressure.

Goni spoke in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja to mark the 2019 World Biodiversity Day.

May 22 every year is declared World Biodiversty Day with the theme: “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”.

Goni said that this year’s celebration focuses on biodiversity as the foundation for food and health and a key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human health.

“It highlights the importance of sustainable agriculture not only to preserve biodiversity, but also to ensure that we will be able to feed the world, maintain agricultural livelihoods, and enhance human wellbeing of the public.

“The links between biodiversity and climate change run both ways – biodiversity is threatened by human-induced climate change but biodiversity resources can reduce the impacts of climate change on people and the environment.

“The conservation of habitats can reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.

“Conserving certain species such as mangroves and drought resistant crops can reduce the disastrous impacts of climate change effects such as flooding and famine.”

He said that the sustainability of the people, their livelihoods and the importance of the conversation of biodiversity “cannot be overemphasized”.

“Biodiversity is referred to all the variety of life that can be found on Earth, be it plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms as well as to the communities that they form and the habitats in which they live.

“There we must conserve biodiversity that is sensitive to climate change and preserve habitats to facilitate the long-term adaptation of biodiversity.”

Goni said that the National Park Service had fully integrate biodiversity considerations into the service’s mitigation and adaptation plans.

“Biological diversity is essential for human existence and has a crucial role to play in sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

“It provides millions of people with livelihoods, helps to ensure food security, and is a rich source of both traditional medicines and modern pharmaceuticals.

“We must not joke with the conservation of biodiversity because it is essential for alleviating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (SDG’s).”

He therefore urged special interest groups, academic institutions, communities to take responsibilities in the conservation of biodiversity and to use biological resources in a sustainable way.

“We must leverage on the knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems’’.

Edited by Grace Yussuf

Continue Reading

Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

Read Also