The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has called for increased efforts and collaborative action to safeguard the environment, ensuring sustainable practices to preserve the ecosystem and prevent the loss of biodiversity.
The governor made the call in commemoration of the 2023 International Day for Biological Diversity marked by the United Nations and its various organs, with the theme, “From agreement to action: build back biodiversity.”
According to Obaseki, “Biological diversity is the cornerstone of our life on earth. It encompasses the variety of ecosystems, species, and genetic resources that sustain us and contribute to our well-being. It is therefore our responsibility to protect and restore biodiversity, recognizing that our own survival and prosperity are intricately linked to its preservation.
“As we celebrate this year’s International Day for Biological Diversity, we must emphasize the crucial importance of nature conservation and the preservation of our invaluable flora and fauna, not just for the sake of humans but to sustain diverse ecosystems and other organisms that benefit from our peculiar biological composition.”
The governor said the theme of this year’s celebration underscores “the urgent need to move beyond mere agreements and translate our commitments into tangible actions. We must intensify efforts and decisively rebuild and safeguard the diverse ecosystems that have continued to suffer from human activities, climate change, and other challenges.”
Obaseki said his government understands the critical importance of biodiversity to the sustainable development of the state and is implementing policies and initiatives “that promote the conservation and sustainable use of our biodiversity.”
He added, “We are strengthening mechanisms to ensure that we do not lose touch with mother earth and our forest belt. To halt the depletion of forest reserves, we are partnering with forest rangers and security agencies in the state to protect our natural assets including the Okomu Forest, Gelegele Forest, and Okomu National Park, among others.
“We are encouraging private investors in the Edo State Oil Palm Programme (ESOPP) to commit to reserving 20 percent of their plantation so as to contributing our forest regeneration drive.”
“We are collaborating with community leaders and other stakeholders in this regard, intensifying sensitization and education to deepen the crusade to preserve our state’s unique flora and fauna.”
According to the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, “From the air we breathe and the food we eat to the energy that fuels us and the medicines that heal us, our lives are wholly dependent on healthy ecosystems. Yet our actions are devastating every corner of the planet.
“One million species are at risk of extinction – the result of habitat degradation, skyrocketing pollution, and the worsening climate crisis. We must end this war on nature.”