Conservationists urge youths to become drivers of global ecosystem restoration


Photo: NCF DG, Dr Aminu-Kano

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and other African conservationist leaders have challenged Nigerian youths to help save planet earth by becoming advocates of ecosystem restoration.

This is contained in a statement on Sunday in Abuja signed by Mr Oladapo Soneye, NCF Head of Communications.

According to the NCF Director-General, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, the world needs urgent restoration of the ecosystem, and urged African youths to take the driver’s seat in the global decade-long project of ecosystem restoration from 2021-2030.

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Aminu-Kano noted that the youths have the energy and information at their disposal to make a meaningful contribution to environmental restoration.

Also speaking, Ms. Simangele Msweli, Senior Manager, Youth Leadership Programme, African Wildlife Foundation, said bad leadership, corruption and non-youth integration. were responsible fo the poor implementation of great policies and strategic action programmes in Africa.

Msweli said that the ecosystem would be preserved through youth commitment and effective youth engagement, as well as support from government organisations, adding that this would culminate in climate resilience and a sustainable economy.

Mr Philip Asiodu, President, Board of Trustees, NCF said Nigeria’s forest reserves had depleted significantly from 35 per cent to 3 per cent, thereby denying animals their natural habitats which could possibly bring harm to the human environment.

Asiodu said immediate actions must be taken to end further depletion of forest reserves in order to bequeath a legacy of total restoration of the ecosystem.

Also speaking, the Chairman, National Executive Council of NCF, Ede Dafinone said “we have severed our relationship with the ecosystem, as we plunder and pollute nature’s resources, treating our planet as dumping ground for plastic and other waste.

“It has been projected that we could lose one million species in the next few decades if we don’t act now. Unfortunately, there is no planet B, where we can move to, in the future.

“Collective action needs to be taken  to recreate our relationship with the planet and restore our ecosystem,” the statement quoted Dafinone as saying.

It further said that Mr Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Chevron Nigeria Limited, commended NCF for the steps taken so far in preserving the ecosystem.

It said Brikinn called on all to make personal commitments to preserve the environment, stressing that the environment was more threatened now than ever before.

“Chevron is transparently committed to advancing a lower carbon future, one that meets the global needs of all people, towards achieving a more prosperous and sustainable world,” the statement quoted Brikinn as saying.

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