Minister of Environment, Alhaji Suleiman Zarma, says the ministry will focus more on environmental protection and conservation of natural resources for sustainable development.
The minister made this known on Monday, March 4, 2019 during the commemoration of the 2019 World Wildlife Day in Abuja.
The theme of World Wildlife Day is: “Life below water: for people and planet’’.
Zarma, who was represented by Mrs Bolatito Obisesan, the Acting Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said that the ministry’s focus in ensuring environmental protection and conservation of natural resources would ensure sustainable development.
The minister said that the proposed establishment of a Marine National Park in Niger Delta to unlock potential of life below water was to sustain the nation’s economic growth.
“As part of increasing our focus on the life below water, Nigeria will soon be one of the countries in the world with a Marine National Park to be established in the Niger Delta.
“In appreciating the importance of life under water, oceans regulate our climate, produce half the oxygen we breathe, and provide nourishment for over three billion people.
“It is obvious that the richness of these ecosystems has sustained human civilisation and development for millennia through provision of food and nourishment, material for handicraft and construction to the air we breathe,’’ Zarma said.
The minister underscored the need to preserve and protect oceans, seas, marines and species diversity in the country.
The Conservator-General, National Park Services, Mr Ibrahim Goni, also disclosed that the service was proposing to establish additional 10 National Parks including a marine park in Bayelsa state.
Goni said that the idea was to adequately preserve and protect ocean and marine species.
“As part of the National Park Service effort to the protection and conservation of wildlife, the National Park Service has recently submitted a proposal for the establishment of 10 additional national parks, including a marine park in Bayelsa State,’’ he said.
World Wildlife Day is celebrated March 3 every year and this year’s theme is to raise awareness on the importance of wild animals and plants and how they can be preserved for future generations.
By Deji Abdulwahab