Frontline environmental group, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) has listed environmental sustainability and economic importance as well as moral obligation from the human populace as the reasons wildlife should be protected.
President, Board of Trustees of the Foundation, Philip Izoma Asiodu, made this known during the 2016 Walk for Nature themed Save Wildlife, Save our Heritage, held in Lagos in conjunction with the state government.
Wildlife like the African vulture, elephant, pangolin, Cross River gorilla, rhinoceroses, sea turtles and chimpanzee have been pushed to the brink of extinction, according to Asiodu. He said: “it is estimated that one elephant is hacked down every 15 minutes, making it urgent for countries to close their domestic elephant ivory trade routes and markets that are fueling the cruel act.”
The President said these wildlife species render valuable services in the ecosystem and contribute to the sustainability of the environment but the current protections for wildlife have not been adequate to control demand from many parts of the world for their meat and scales believed to have curative powers from the keratin found in them.
He, therefore, said the group was in support of efforts of countries advocating against the legislation of rhino horn trade during the Conference of the Parties (COP) 17 of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Asiodu commended the efforts of governments, corporate organisations to the protection of the environment and the ecosystem and enjoined stakeholders to support NCF’s Green Recovery Nigeria (GRN), which aims at restoring the lost forest cover in the country.
The 2016 Walk for Nature, an information and awareness march, witnessed a large turnout of environmentalists, nature enthusiasts and school conservation clubs.