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Lagos seeks protection of wildlife population

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Lagos seeks protection of wildlife population

The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA) has called for collective support against the illegal wildlife trade, hunting and possession of wildlife parts.

LASEPA General Manager, Dr. Dolapo Fasawe, called for the recovery of a sea turtle from an illegal poacher, who was arrested from the Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), Eti-Osa Zone.

Fasawe said in a statement Thursday in Lagos that protecting wildlife would help maintain ecological balance and prevent the extinction of some special animals and plants.

He said the general public’s ignorance of the benefits of wildlife is contributing greatly to the rate of unchecked illegal trade in endangered species, people against the general interest of all.

“Our awareness-raising promotion paid off recently, as officials from Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI), Eti-Osa Zone, professionally arrested a Muhammad, who confessed to hunting marine animals in the ocean and selling them to waiting customers.

“The marine animal was recovered and then released back home to the ocean at Oniru Beach, in the presence of our natural resource protection team,” said the general manager.

According to her, the laws covering the preservation and conservation of wildlife in Nigeria are largely enshrined in two sets of laws.

She said they are Nigeria’s Endangered Species Act (International Trade and Traffic Control), Decree 11 of the 1985 Constitution and Section 20 of the National Park Service Act.

Fasawe said that these current laws in principle regulate the hunting, farming and trade of animals, as well as the creation of the various game reserves that currently exist in Nigeria, including the Yankari and Borgu game reserves, the national parks of Okomu and Old Oyo, among others. .

Existing laws allow a fine of N5 million or one year in jail for the illicit trade in endangered animals in Nigeria.

“Lagos State is a primarily urban environment, with the fastest growing population in Africa.

“Per capita needs such as housing, industrialization, recreation centers and other amenities pose a danger to the existence of some special animals and plants with limited land availability for conservation activities,” he said.

However, the general manager said LASEPA is striving to balance the effects of these undesirable activities on the environment and also to protect the native wildlife population.

He said it was a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), as a mandatory requirement before the start of any project, in an attempt to attack the comfort zone.

Fasawe said that as a port city, Lagos is vulnerable to the illicit trade in these prized species, therefore the agency had embarked on aggressive defense, better surveillance and monitoring activities.

According to her, the peculiarities of the conservation and management of wildlife require that the three levels of government clearly draw up policies to prevent the trafficking of these precious species, through various airports and seaports throughout the state.

“Therefore, there is a need to create various levels of policies and controls to protect our precious biodiversity and also ensure that people act responsibly in poaching, gambling and destruction of homes (burning of shrubs, deforestation ”), he said.

Fasawe said LASEPA has improved baseline data collection, identification of endangered animal species and protected areas, botanical marking of special trees / plants, as well as strengthening policies at the state and local level.

He listed the green turtle, African savanna elephant, western gorilla, white-bellied pangolin, black rhino, and gray parrots as endangered species facing various threats, as a result of illegal sales, habitat destruction. , fashion trends, domestication, among others.

Tree plants such as sandpit, pine, anta root, cabbage, African mahogany, and feces are classified as vulnerable by the Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), due to their overexploitation and medicinal relevance.

Source: NAN

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