An environmental activist, Mr Emmanuel Emechete, says there is the need for more proactive actions in biodiversity protection in the country.
Emechete made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos, in commemoration of the 2020 World Environment Day (WED).
It is celebrated every June 5.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Biodiversity: Time for Nature“.
Biodiversity is the foundation that supports all life on land and below water.
According to him, biodiversity is a call to action to combat the accelerating species loss and degradation of the natural world.
He added that about one million plant and animal species risked extinction largely due to human activities.
The expert called on Nigerians to take biodiversity serious and stop seeing nature only as a source of foods, raw materials and extra income.
”We need to do more about biodiversity as a country; we must take definite and proactive actions in protecting our environment and wildlife.
”We do not understand the importance of protecting species of animals and plants. All we think about is what is good for food or can bring in income. This ought not to be so.
”What we basically perceive nature for in Nigeria is food, medicine and basic source of raw materials.
”We fell trees without replanting and poach wildlife without a thought of the specie going into extinction. We basically do not take enough actions to protect biodiversity,” he told NAN.
Emechete, who also called for the enforcement of policies to protect the environment and nature, said that more actions toward protecting the environment would be to the benefit of all.
”We need to do something significant in terms of actionable plans to protect nature and the environment from our end.
”We have not done any significant work in biodiversity in Nigeria. I am not talking of paperwork and reports, but meaning practical actions.
”We have a few polices against tree felling, but the question is: Are they being implemented?
”Sometimes some forest guards even take bribes to allow people to fell trees,” he said.