The Birdlife Partnership calls on the United Nations to amend the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the first time in over 70 years to add a new human right: the right to a healthy natural environment. SUMMARY 1. The historic Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations in 1948, in the wake of the devastation and turmoil of the Second World War. Widely recognised and respected as helping to guard against atrocities and injustice the world over, it has not been reopened since, but has one increasingly apparent failing: the lack of an environmental dimension. Over the course of its lifetime human development has become increasingly unsustainable, leading to the Rio Earth Summit in 1992 and the setting up of its three daughter conventions to address the challenges of biodiversity loss, climate change and land degradation, and the much stronger focus on environmental sustainability in the Sustainable Development Goals compared to their precursor, the Millennium Development Goals. But despite these efforts, environmental degradation continues largely unchecked, with consequent negative impacts on people, in particular the poorest and most vulnerable. 2. Following a series of debates, reports and resolutions of different UN bodies during the last…
Earth Day is commemorated on April 22nd, and this year marks the 50th year of the world standing in solidarity for the earth. Despite the lockdown, various activities were held globally in commemoration of Earth Day and NCF was not left out in the movement for Mother Earth. Dr Joseph Onoja, the Director, Technical Programmes of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) was engaged in a chat where he shed light on pressing environmental issues in Nigeria. What are the major causes of air pollution in Nigeria? The major causes of air pollution are gases from exhaust of cars and heavy-duty trucks, indiscriminate burning of garbage, burning of fossil fuel (mostly crude oil), also from industries. We could also include burning of fuel wood, bush fires and sand storm. Although sand storms are more localised to the arid regions and are natural unlike the aforementioned that are caused by humans. Is there any connection between air pollution and Respiratory Tract Infections (RTI)? Absolutely! It even goes beyond just the respiratory tract infections but affects other organs like the heart causing blockage of the arteries and the brain causing stroke. Air pollution has been estimated to kill over 7 million each year,…
"We are deeply saddened by the loss of lives through the COVID-19 pandemic and our thoughts are with the families who have lost loved ones, or who are sick and we wish them a speedy recovery.“ Globally and particularly in Africa, illegal wildlife trade continues to be a growing multibillion-dollar business. Statistics indicate that illegal wildlife trade globally generates between $7- $23 billion annually. Additionally, it is estimated that one out of every four bird or mammal species globally is caught up in wildlife trade. In Africa, it involves trade and trafficking of elephant tusks and rhino horn, pangolin scales, bush meat, tropical timber and endangered birds, including vultures. Wildlife trade is increasingly driving species to extinction, and destroying biodiversity. Moreover, wildlife trade threatens rural community livelihoods, hampers development efforts, and puts ecosystems at risk. Perhaps one of the frightening realities of this trade is the threat that it poses to the health of human beings, through spread of zoonotic diseases - diseases that jump from animals to human beings. In recent past, the world has seen the emergence of animal- borne infectious diseases such as SARS, Nipah, Ebola and Lassa Fever. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that has wreaked havoc…
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in collaboration with the Imo State Government, Federal Ministry of Environment and National Association of Zoos and Wildlife Parks (NAZAP) commemorates the World Wildlife Day (WWD) with the theme “Sustaining all life on earth” at Owerri, Imo State on Tuesday, 3rd March 2020. The activities of the day commenced with a rally from Imo International Conference Centre to Ahiajoku Convention Centre where a reception was held. The rally, led by government officials and members of NAZAP had about fifteen secondary schools participated. Mrs. Sabina Onwuchi, the Acting Permanent Secretary revealed in her introductory remark that wildlife consists of animals, birds and insects that are in their natural habitat and they are nature’s gift to mankind. She said further that “All efforts to protect wildlife (flora and fauna) should be intensified and every threat to the survival of wildlife species should be discontinued.” Senator Hope Uzodinma, the Governor of Imo State, who was the Special Guest of Honour said that this year’s event presents the cogent challenge of a sober soul search on how people have related with, preserved or destroyed nature in our lifetime. He said “Habitat degradation manifests in many forms. Among them are…
As a RAMSAR Site, first of its kind in Nigeria, Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands (HNW) located in Jigawa and Yobe State, and as a wetlands' complex of immense interest to bird-watchers, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) led many to conduct Winter Bird Census between 10th and 16th February, 2020. HNW complex is of international significance to Palaearctic and Afro tropical migratory water birds, with counts of about 423,166 individual birds from 68 species recorded. Birds population in the wetlands usually fluctuate at each seasonal count. The Wetlands have long been known as a centre of fish production. Upstream hydrological developments driven by irrigation projects threaten to degrade this important resource. Studies of flood plain fisheries have shown that fish production is closely related to flood extent. The existing and planned dams upstream of the HNW are likely to have a serious impact on fisheries. The ornithological importance of the HNW at both national and international levels is well known. Current efforts at conserving the avifauna of the wetlands started with the establishment of the HNW Conservation Project in 1987, as a joint international initiative to promote sustainable use of this hydric ecosystem in the otherwise semi-arid zone of north-eastern Nigeria. Since its…
The Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, announced that Finima Nature Park will be known globally as a Ramsar Site of International importance. The Minister who was represented by Mr. Sikiru Oladele Tiamiyu, Director of Forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment made this known as Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in collaboration with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) commemorated the 2020 World Wetlands Day (WWD) in Bonny Island, River State on Monday, 3rd February, 2020. She said, “I am deeply honoured to inform you that the Honourable Minister of Environment has endorsed the instrument for designation of Finima Nature Park as Ramsar Site of International Importance.” This endorsement will make Finima Nature Park the 12th Ramsar Site in Nigeria and 3rd in the Niger Delta. This year’s theme “Wetlands and Biodiversity”, was used to highlight the need to protect wetlands and biodiversity they inhabit. Estimates show that biodiversity is declining globally, with wetlands disappearing three times faster than forests. Consequently, this year underlines the need to protect wetlands biodiversity and urgently address its loss. In her welcome address, Mrs. Eyono Fatai-Williams, General Manager, External Relations & Sustainable Development, NLNG explains that the company earnestly identifies with the global…
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