By Azubuike Okeh
Bonny (Rivers) – Mrs Sharon Ikeazo, Minister of State for Environment, has called for stakeholders’ action on the preservation of Nigeria’s wetlands.
Ikeazo made the call on Monday in Bonny, Rivers State, during the celebration of the 2020 edition of the World Wetland Day.
Represented by Mr Tiamiyu Oladele, Director Forestry, the minister said that wetlands played host to plants and animals that relied on one another for sustenance within the ecosystem.
She said that companies, donor agencies and corporate individuals owed the country a duty to ensure the survival of Nigeria’s wetlands.
“They are the most valuable and productive ecosystems, they provide food, shelter and water for different species of plants and animals.
“They are like nature’s kidney; they act as the filters, they recycle nutrients and trap sediments. They can prevent the oceans from being polluted,’’ she said.
Also speaking at the event, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director-General, Nigeria Conservation Foundation, urged Nigerians to stop degrading wetlands to enable them perform their roles in the ecosystem.
Aminu-Kano noted it was an unfriendly environmental practice to reclaim wetlands for construction purposes, saying, “we must also stop using them as refuse dumps’’
“Wetlands are not waste lands, they are important to the ecology, hydrology and the economy, we all must work together to preserve them,’’ he said.
On her part, Enayo Fatayi-Williams, the General Manager, External Relations, Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG), said the company was fully aware of the importance of wetlands to biodiversity.
Fatayi-Williams said that the Finima Nature Park, which was developed by the company was to boost biodiversity, climate regulation and ecotourism.
“ We want to ensure that the environment is safe for both humans and other living organisms; we shall ensure the sustenance of the park.
“We are a strong stakeholder in the clean and green environment project, the nature park is also a way of offsetting carbon footprints,’’ she said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Wetlands are distinct ecosystem that are seasonally or permanently flooded, and having prevailing oxygen-free processing.
The theme for the 2020 edition of the World Wetland Day is “Wetlands and Biodiversity’’.