By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
As the world celebrates the 2023 World Wildlife Day, the Senior Special Assistant to Bayelsa State governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has called on communities to protect endangered wildlife in their forests, adding that indigenous communities are most effective guardians of their biodiversity.
The Tourism expert stated this when he spoke with travel journalists at the weekend, regretting that the increased rate of wildlife poaching activities in Bayelsa State, especially hunting of gorillas/chimpanzees at the Edumenum National Park has become so alarming.
Dr Piriye appealed to community leaders to protect wildlife habitats with a view to building a thriving future for all living beings.
According to him, the governor-led prosperity administration has remained determined to preserving all species within the state’s six forest reserves, including rare plant species through a legal framework, saying that the government will not fold its arms to watch the state’s forests being degraded.
The governor’s aide explained that the theme of this year’s World Wildlife Day, which is ‘Partnerships for Wildlife Conservation’ highlights the urgent need to work across governments, civil society, and the private sector to turn commitment into action, pointing out that World Wildlife Day, provides everyone of us an opportunity to reflect on our responsibility to protect the magnificent diversity of life on our planet, charging all of us to realise our abject failure.
According to the Secretary-General of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Ivonne Higuero, “Human activities are laying waste to once-thriving forests, jungles, farmland, oceans, rivers, seas, and lakes. One million species teeter on the brink of extinction, due to habitat destruction, fossil fuel pollution and the worsening climate crisis. We must end this war on nature”.
It will be recalled that this year marks the 50th anniversary of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species, which has helped to protect thousands of plants and animals, just as the last year’s agreement on the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework marked an important step towards putting our planet on a path to healing. We need much bolder actions now to cut emissions, accelerate renewables, and build climate resilience.
March 3 is World Wildlife Day, it is a United Nations International day to celebrate all the world’s wild animals and plants and the contribution that they make to our lives and the health of the planet.
This date was chosen as it is the birthday of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, (CITES), signed in 1973 and it’s also a celebration of CITES as it turns 50.