The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has tasked environmentalists, community leaders and researchers to lead awareness campaign on the conservation of the mangrove ecosystem in Nigeria to preserve the country’s flora and fauna.
He made the call in commemoration of the International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem marked every July 25, by the United Nations and its various organs.
The governor said, “It is important to stress the need for environmentalists and researchers to join the government in leading awareness campaign on conservation and preservation of the unique features of ocean life, to sustain the diverse ecosystem and other organisms in the mangrove.
Obaseki said it was time to acknowledge the role of environmentalists and researchers in pushing for the strengthening of policies on the protection and preservation of ocean life, adding, “The disruptions recorded in the mangrove result from the poor knowledge of the long term value of the balance in our ecosystem. There is a need for sustained awareness campaign on the impact of human activities on ocean life which if not mitigated could expose rural communities in coastal areas to storm surges, rising sea levels and erosion.
“The commemoration also demands that we synergise to conserve mangroves in coastal communities and other components of the ecosystem that benefit from conserving the environment,” he added.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) “Mangroves are rare, spectacular and prolific ecosystems on the boundary between land and sea. These extraordinary ecosystems contribute to the wellbeing, food security and protection of coastal communities worldwide. They support rich biodiversity and provide a valuable nursery habitat for fish and crustaceans.”
“The International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem, adopted by the General Conference of UNESCO in 2015 and celebrated each year on 26 July, aims to raise awareness of the importance of mangrove ecosystems as ‘a unique, special and vulnerable ecosystem’ and to promote solutions for their sustainable management, conservation and uses.”