Updated: February 28, 2021
The United States Consulate in Lagos on Tuesday warned that human activities in Nigeria were negatively affecting life below water, and called on Africa’s most populous country to preserve marine habitats for future generations.
“Marine wildlife has sustained human civilization and development for over a thousand years, from providing food and nourishment, to providing material for handicrafts and construction,” the Public Affairs Officer of the U.S. Consulate General Lagos, Mr. Russell Brooks, said at an event to commemorate the 2019 World Wildlife Day.
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“We cannot take their survival for granted. We can reduce some of the negative effects of our activity on life under the water, by working hard to spread the message to reduce marine pollution,” Brooks added in his remarks, according to a Consulate statement sent toin Washington D.C.
He urged Nigerians to treat the conservation of the oceans and aquatic wildlife as an individual responsibility.
World Wildlife Day is observed annually on March 3, following a proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly on 20 December 2013.
In commemoration of 2019 World Wildlife Day, the United States Consulate General in Lagos on Tuesday held a program in collaboration with the International Climate Change Development Initiative (ICCDI) and Wildlife of Africa Conservation Initiative.
Brooks, speaking on the theme of Life below Water, at an event attended by leading environmental conservation activists, said as much as 40% of the world’s oceans are negatively affected by human activity, including overexploitation of marine species, loss of coastal habitats and pollution.
He highlighted the crucial importance of the oceans and marine species to human development and emphasized the necessity for increased conservation education.
Delivering welcoming remarks earlier, the Communications Director at ICCDI, Mr. Abiodun Adekoya, noted that effective climate change mitigation in the country would require concerted action by governments and individuals, with an emphasis on conservation education, recycling programs and the creation of a legal framework for the nation’s policy on the environment.