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UNEP lifts trade embargo on Nigeria

Amina Mohammed

Amina Mohammed

UNITED Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has lifted the suspension on trade between Nigeria and other countries in all endangered plants and animal species as well as related products.

It would be recalled that Nigeria was suspended from international trade in endangered species in March 2015 following the country’s inability to submit an adequate National Ivory Action Plan (NIAP) in accordance with the provisions of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (plants and animals).

Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, who disclosed this in a statement to mark the 2016 World Wildlife Day in Abuja, urged Nigerians to do everything within the ambit of the law to protect the country’s wildlife.

She said that Nigeria stands the risk of losing economic and social opportunities which wildlife presents to the country’s economy in particular and the eco system in general.

According to her: “Endangering wild life threatens our personal well-being, the livelihood of local communities and our natural heritage. Wildlife forms a significant part of our biodiversity and plays a unique role as an indicator of ecological change. Without wildlife, we will lose the opportunity of economic and social value, which wildlife brings to our ecosystem.”

She observed that World Wildlife Day is celebrated every 3rd of March as established by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on December 20, 2013 at its 68th session, adding that the day is set aside for all nations to focus on the critical importance of protecting our Fauna and Flora (plants and animals) which are our essential and natural heritage for now and future generations.

The minister noted that wildlife exploitation, illicit trade and habitat fragmentation are the key threats to bio-diversity as they concern thousands of plants and animals’ species and can lead to extinction if not properly addressed hence, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) resolution designated the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretariat as an instrument for monitoring illegal trade in wildlife species.

She added that the ministry is the focal point of implementation and has domesticated the convention, “the Endangered Species Act”, to conserve our wild species that are almost driven into extinction due to over exploitation, habitat change and illicit trafficking, such as cheetahs, lions, tigers, leopards, gorillas, manatee and high value timbers such as ebony and mahogany, to mention but a few.



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