By Fortune Abang
Abuja – The United Arab Emirates (UAE) says it is ready to partner Nigeria in strengthening wild preservation efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
Dr Fahad AL-Taffaq, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to Nigeria, made this known in his address on sideline of his official visit to the National Park headquarters in Abuja.
The visit focused on the rehabilitation of endangered “Scimitar Oryx” breed of Antelope and discussions on ways the UAE could work in close collaboration with the National Park Service on zoo and wild life development programmes.
According to him, the event is a base that the his country will build upon for the benefit of the National Parks and the Ministry of Environment here in Nigeria.
AL-Taffaq said, “To understand the species that we would focus on and identify areas in the National Park or National Game Reserves where these species could be introduced, through discussions we can arrive at fruitful conclusions that will add value to the environment in Nigeria and that is what we hope for.
“I think climate change is a major dimension that we should focus on in Nigeria, especially around the Lake Chad Basin, where a big number of people call home.
“Through initiatives and mutual understanding of situations in the Lake Chad Basin, I believe climate change is something we can work on.
“Along with other economic and humanitarian support efforts, this could be initiated along this line.”
Speaking, Dr Ibrahim Goni, Conservator-General of National Park Services said that the discussions were the right step being taken toward tackling issues with climate change and endangered species in Nigeria.
He said that the discussions would go a long way toward mitigating the effects of climate change “because we have to meet the Nile areas of international conventional treaties on endangered species of flora and fauna that are involved.
“Once Nigeria is cleared, we can bring in certain animals in ways that we need, particularly in the Chad Basin National Park.
“Inventory shows that endangered species were once in Chad Basin National Park, it was because of human activities their populations decimate.
“So reintroducing them is a good idea, just alike we have started with UAE; they have given us launching pad which we intend to build up,” Ibrahim said.
He promised to brief the Minister of Environment on outcome of their discussion for furtherance of the goals.
He, however, appealed to the Federal Government to strengthen capacity in the area of wild life conservation services.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event featured the presentation of a film “Back to the Wild” and the planting of trees both aimed at sensitising the public to the need to fight climate change. (NAN)