The Federal Government has revealed plan to launch the National Strategy Plan on Combatting Illegal Wildlife and Forest Crime in the country.
Addressing a press conference on Monday in Abuja, the Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor said the country has recently developed the National Strategy Plan on Combatting Illegal Wildlife and Forest Crime in Nigeria in collaboration with the UNODC.
She revealed that this is due to be launched on the 3rd of March, noting that this strategy document will facilitate the implementation of our policies and initiative aimed at protecting, restoring and promoting the sustainable use of our biodiversity.
She said: “The National Park Services has been in collaboration with NESREA, other relevant agencies like the Nigerian Customs Service to check illegal trafficking and trade in endangered species of wildlife in Nigeria and have made considerable success with seizures. Sensitization campaigns against illegal wildlife are being carried out across the country.”
Ikeazor disclosed that: “We are commencing the Implementation of the National Biosecurity Policy and Action Plan 2022-2026, to guarantee a functional biosecurity system using the one-health approach to minimizing the risks of biological threats to the biodiversity and to humans.”
She said: “Protecting, restoring and sustainably managing Nigeria’s ecosystems could provide more than a third of our climate change mitigation solutions.”
She promised that: “The Federal Ministry of Environment will continue to strive in achieving the set mandates despite all challenges while repositioning her agencies for effective implementation of policies, regulations and projects.”
The Minister disclosed that in the area of afforestation, the national afforestation programme under the green bond project has successfully forested 6,191,363 hectares of land through the green bond project implemented by; Forest Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), National NAGGW, Department of Desertification, land degradation and drought management, National Parks Service (NPS), NGOs, State Governments, Private planters and international stakeholders.
She said: “In addition, a total of 6,550,056 seedlings, were raised, distributed to state governments and institutions and planted by Forest Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Federal Department of Forestry, Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) and tree restoration and planting company in 2020 under the forestry trust fund initiative.”
She noted that: “The most significant action taken towards playing our role in climate change mitigation and adaptation is the signing of the Climate change bill into law by Mr President, in November 2021.”