Some West African environment experts say Africa’s stock of environmental resources is expected to diminish by over half within the coming decades.
The experts said this at the maiden edition of the conference on Conservation and Environmental Management for West African NGOs on Wednesday, February 6, 2019 in Abuja.
The theme of the two-day conference is: “Conservation-Collaboration beyond National Boundaries in the Sub-region’’.
Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, the Director-General, Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), said the conference would afford partners the opportunity to deliberate on sustainable solutions to common conservation challenges within the region.
“The region is endowed with rich biodiversity populated by numerous species of flora and fauna, unfortunately this unique range of biodiversity are now among the world most threatened.
“The consequences of such a large-scale loss of biodiversity are dire as it will ultimately affect the capacity for economic development, social advancement and exacerbate climate change.’’
Aminu-Kano said that aims of the conference included identifying priority areas requiring urgent need for conservation intervention as well as the need for technical assistance from ECOWAS Secretariat.
According to him, others are to explore areas of possible support for NGOs through closer collaboration with the ECOWAS platform.
“Meet peers and share experience about what works and what doesn’t and identify synergies and ways of working together to help in future tasks.’’
Mr Kwame Awere-Gyeke, the Technical Advisor, West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change Programme (WABICC) under USAID, said the conference came at the right time.
“At WABICC, we work with all stakeholders to provide opportunities for cooperation and development to ensure that humans live in harmony with nature.
“We must foster closer engagement with ECOWAS environment policy development process for proper action,’’ Awere-Gyeke said.
Mrs Thandiwe Chikomo of Birdlife International, West Africa Sub-regional Office, Dakar, said Birdlife was working with people toward the sustainable use of natural resources.
“BirdLife Africa Partnership is a growing network of 24 organisations striving to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity.
By Ebere Agozie