An ecologist, Mr Richard Inyamkume, has called for National Species Recovery Plan (NSRP) that will assist in recovering massive loss of extinct species and other species that are already threatened within local ecological communities.
Inyamkume, who is the also Executive Director, Ambassadors of Dialogue, Climate and Reintegration, an NGO, gave the advice in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Saturday.
The ecologist, who spoke following the commemoration of the 2019 World Endangered Species Day, held May 17 annually, stressed creating awareness on the need to protect endangered species from going into extinction.
“Nigeria needs to urgently set in motion a National Species Recovery Plan (NSRP) that will assist the nation to speedily recover from massive loss of extinct species and other species that are already threatened within our local ecological communities.
“As we mark the “World’s Endangered Species Day”, we have a unique global opportunity to campaign against the annihilation of extinct species in our various communities.
“Also we need to advocate for laws and policies that will ensure the protection and conservation of certain species.
“Nigerians need to understand the importance of this special celebration and also join the global campaign,” he said.
Inyamkume added that citizens needed to understand that maintaining sustained national biodiversity would help boost Nigeria’s ecosystem productivity and guarantee sustainable life in all forms.
“The truth is, each species, no matter how small continues to play significant roles in balancing the ecosystem.
“So, maintaining a larger number of plant species in our country will assure us of a greater variety of crops to feed our teeming population, likewise animal species to serve man’s consumption needs, as well as sustain the natural ecosystem balance.
“Greater species diversity no doubt, ensures natural sustainability for all life forms,” he said.
He called on the federal government and civil society organisations to take urgent actions to address massive extinction of natural species.
“As citizens, we need to push for laws that aim at protecting and conserving endangered species.
“We need effective laws that will forbid hunting of some species and halt the obliteration of certain plant species which is being targeted for individual or economic gains.
“We also need to reconsider our engagement with land in terms of development as irresponsible land use is endangering some species in the nation’s ecological community,” he said.
According to him, in Nigeria and elsewhere, human activities have endangered a substantial number of species; plant and animals.
“Activities such as bush burning, irresponsible consumerism, tree felling, water and air pollution continue to endanger a substantial number of plant and animal species.
“Endangered species refer to species that have been categorised as very likely to become extinct in the natural environment,” Inyamkume explained.
According to him, it is estimated that about 50 per cent of the world’s species are at risk of extinction.
“It is the reason that a significant number of countries have signed accords to create Biodiversity Action Plans that will protect endangered and other threatened species.
“According to the 2012 Red List of Endangered species prepared by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), about 3,079 animals and 2,655 plant species are endangered worldwide.
“Up till this moment, large numbers of species are at risk of extinction with little or no remedies,” he said.
According to him, if the nation acts now, it will be saving the future of its children and the planet earth.