Nigerians have been asked to treat the conservation of the oceans and aquatic wildlife as an individual responsibility, in order to preserve marine habitats for future generations.
The Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate General in Lagos, Mr. Russell Brooks, made this appeal on Tuesday at the commemoration of 2019 World Wildlife Day, held at the U.S. Consulate General office in Lagos.
World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3, following a proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly on December 20, 2013.
The programme, which was organised in collaboration with the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) and Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative, was attended by leading environmental conservation activists.
Speaking on the theme of Life below Water, Mr Brooks stated that as much as 40% of the world’s oceans have been negatively affected by human activity, including over-exploitation of marine species, loss of coastal habitats and pollution.
“Marine wildlife has sustained human civilization and development for over a thousand years, from providing food and nourishment, to providing material for handicrafts and construction. We cannot take their survival for granted.
“We can reduce some of the negative effects of our activity on life under the water, by working hard to spread the message to reduce marine pollution,” he said.
Earlier, the Communications Director at ICCDI, Mr Abiodun Adekoya, noted that effective climate change mitigation in the country would require concerted action by governments and individuals, with an emphasis on conservation education, recycling programmes and the creation of a legal framework for the nation’s policy on the environment.