UNGA President Seeks Sustainable Exploitation of Wildlife

Tijani Muhammad-Bande

By Oluchi Chibuzor

The President of the General Assembly of the United Nations, Tijani Muhammad-Bande, has stressed the need for sustainable exploitation of wildlife resources.

This, was in view of threat of extinction facing most wildlife biodiversity across the world.

The Nigerian Diplomat joined the United Nation, Secretary-General, António Guterres, in a message to mark the World Wildlife Day celebration, urging member-nations to commit to protect the rich diversity of wildlife species, ecosystems and ecosystem services.

He said the world was becoming increasingly aware of its dependence on biodiversity and the negative impact of its actions on it.

“As we strive to build a brighter future, let us not forget that this future cannot come at the cost of our planet’s own well-being. We must balance our own needs with those of the wildlife, habitats and ecosystems that surround us.

“We are becoming increasingly aware of our dependence on biodiversity and the negative impact of our own actions on it,” he said.

He added: “Business as usual has brought one million species to the brink of extinction. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES)’s Global Assessment maintains that our well-being and quality of life depends on the endurance of our planet’s rich biological diversity, and we must act to avoid reaching a tipping point that is irreversible.

“On this World Wildlife Day, under the theme of “Sustaining all Life on Earth”, we celebrate wild fauna and flora as essential components of our world’s biodiversity. We acknowledge the many benefits of wildlife to people, planet and prosperity.

“I ask that you pledge to strive for a future where sustainable use of biodiversity and strengthened conservation efforts help us build a better world for all. I ask you to do one thing today to take action to help conserve wildlife, and ensure its continued use is sustainable,” he demanded.

However, Guterres said, “by overexploiting wildlife, habitats and ecosystems, humanity is endangering both itself and the survival of countless species of wild plants and animals. “Today, close to a quarter of all species on the planet are in danger of becoming extinct in the next decade.

“In its 2019 Global Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) highlighted how the current global rate of species extinction is rampant and accelerating – tens to hundreds of times higher than before humans inhabited the planet.”