Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A non governmental organisation (NGO), Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has decried the lack of effort by the federal government to halt the threats to biodiversity, saying the alarming rate at which biodiversity is being eroded poses fundamental risks to the health and stability of ecosystems.
Against this background, it called on the federal government and other African governments to put a halt to the threats to biodiversity posed by genetic engineering of living organisms and instead make investment in nature-centred approaches to agricultural productivity, promote of indigenous knowledge, cultures and biodiversity preservation.
In a statement issued by the Director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey in commemoration of the International Day of Biodiversity, he called for concerted efforts towards the preservation of biodiversity and addressing processes which pose as threat to it.
According to him, “Policy makers are at ease while biodiversity is being eroded at an alarming rate thus posing fundamental risks to the health and stability of ecosystems.”
He lamented that the increased use of insecticides and herbicides on farmlands and the genetic engineering of crops to be insecticides themselves, kill intended and unintended insects and poses severe threat to biodiversity.
Bassey stated: “Biodiversity plays a crucial role in ecosystem functioning; provision of goods and service’s which are essential to human health and well-being; formation and preservation of culture and adaptability. Food production systems depend on the diversity of organisms, such as primary producers, herbivores, carnivores, decomposers, pollinators, pathogens, natural enemies of pests etc”.
” Pollination which is an important mechanism in the maintenance and promotion of biodiversity and is critical for food production, is threatened by the use of genetically modified insect resistant crops, intensive agricultural practices, pesticides, invasive alien species and climate change.
“More concerns are added as humans have advanced to the point when extinction is being engineered in the laboratory by a technology known as gene drives” he added.
HOMEF emphasised that a dependence of global food production system on the few genetically uniform varieties of plants, entrenched in a monoculture system, is dangerous for the conservation of biodiversity and healthy living.