The Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jibril, says the Federal Government is partnering with the Government of Cameroon to establish three Trans-boundary Protected Areas to serve as international tourism centres.
Jibril made this known in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by his Special Assistant on Communication, Esther Agbarakwe in commemoration of the 2017 International Day for Biodiversity.
“Nigerian government in collaboration with the Republic of Cameroun proposes to establish three trans-boundary protected areas that will serve as international tourism centres.
“These are the Cross River-Korub and Takamanda, the Gashaka – Gumti-Faro and Tchabal Mbabo, and the Chad Basin- Waze trans-boundary Parks.
“These parks, when established will contribute significantly to reducing threats to and maintain or increase key wildlife populations and biodiversity values through tourism revenue,’’ the minister said.
According to him, the Federal Government is committed to the achievement of the Bonn Challenge, the New York Declaration and other global initiatives for forest and landscape restoration.
“To this end, the Federal Government will continue to address the degraded ecosystems nationwide in the 2017 to 2018 development years through the ministry’s collaborative initiative with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
“This will not only restore our degraded ecosystems but also enhance our tourism and cultural values as well as build ecosystem resilience against the impact of climate change,” he said.
Jibril said that government was committed to implementing the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP).
According to him, the plan has been reviewed in line with the Global Strategy for Biodiversity Conservation 2011 to 2020 and the Aichi Biodiversity Target.
“Our NBSAP is an embodiment of how synergy within the environment sector and linkages with other economic sectors can be profitable in addressing the threats to our biodiversity and halting its loss.
“This is an affirmation of this administration’s efforts to prioritise biodiversity conservation for the economic and social wellbeing of our people,’’ the minister said.
He recalled that in December 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari assented to the Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and Traffic) Amendment Act, 2016.
Jibril said that individual actions and investment decisions in corporate bodies should always take into account the impact on biodiversity.
According to him, there is need now more than ever to halt biodiversity loss to preserve the future and that of posterity.
The minister said that relevant stakeholders should join hands to conserve and use biodiversity in a sustainable manner order to halt its loss and consequently ensure livelihood and survival.
The International Day for Biodiversity (IDB) usually celebrated on May 22 every year is proclaimed to increase understanding and awareness of the importance of biodiversity to human existence and the need to conserve it.
This year’s commemoration coincides with the 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.