By Alkasim Bala
The Project Coordinator of the Hadejia-Nguru Wetland Conservation project under the Nigeria Conservation Forum NCF Mr Harry Hanson Junior want deliberate effort by stakeholders to ensure proper conservation of wetlands to avoid harmful consequences on the environment.
Mr Harry Hanson stated this at an event to commemorate this years World Wetland Day held at Baturiya Wetlands in Hedejia area of Jigawa state.
Wetlands Day is observed on February 02 to create awareness of the need for the conservation of wetlands for the betterment of the ecosystem and climate change problems.
The day was first adopted by the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution 75/317 for World Wetlands Day on August 30, 2021, though public awareness regarding the day started in 1997.
According to Mr Hanson, the wetlands play a significant role in the ecosystem as they were the biodiversity hotspots, being the habitat for many aquatic flora and fauna and home to numerous species of birds, including migratory species.
“Wetlands play a crucial role in water security and also provide a barrier against natural disasters such as flooding. They also help fight climate change and prevent soil erosion”
Mr Harry Hanson pointed out that, the destruction of wetlands will lead to the damage of millions of people associated with the wetland ecosystem directly or indirectly and therefore stressed the importance of observing the day to make people understand the importance of wetlands.
He said This year theme for the celebration “Wetlands Action for People and Nature” was deliberately chosen to draw attention to the sustainable use of wetlands and promote conservation efforts.
In an interview with Journalists at the event, the Director General Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Muktari Aminu Kano who described the day as auspicious commended the community for their support to the NCF and other partners in their effort toward conserving the wetlands.
He equally commended the state minister of environment Sharon O. Ikeazor for robust partnership which helped in achieving the desired goal, ” we have been working closely together in several areas and we have pledged to look at more areas and people to collaborate because tackling environment needs all hands on deck”.
He added that “the NCF has the project in Hadejia, Nguru areas for the last 40 years, and we’re still continuing and we will continue to enhance the livelihood of the people and at the same time looking after the environment”.
Nigeria has 11 wetlands of international importance with a total area of 1,076,728 hectares.
The sites include: Lake Chad wetlands in Borno State; Dagona Sanctuary Lake, Yobe State; Hadejia-Nguru Lake, Jigawa and Yobe States; Maladumba Lake, Bauchi State; Baturiya wetland, Jigawa; Foge Islands, Kebbi State.
Others are Apoi Creek Forests, Bayelsa State; Padam and Wase Lakes, Plateau State, Upper Orashi Forests, Rivers State; Oguta Lake, Imo State and Lower Kaduna-Middle Niger Floodplain, Niger State.