(L-R) Director, Environmental Education Unit, Ministry of Environment and Water Resources, Mrs. Monsurat Banire; representative of Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services and Director Conservation and Ecology, Mr. Sheriff Savage; representative of Commissioner, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources and Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Mr. Omobolaji Gaji; Guest Lecturer, Prof. Alabi Soneye and Overall CDC Chairman (Lagos Division), Otunba Dupe Adekoya during the Advocacy/Awareness Campaign on Wetlands for Lagos Central Senatorial District held at Yaba LCDA, Herbert Macaulay Way, Adekunle, Yaba, Lagos on Wednesday.
Lagos State Government has reiterated its commitment to stop all forms of encroachments and misuse of wetlands in the State for better preservation of biodiversity.
The Commissioner for the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Tunji Bello, disclosed this during an advocacy programme on Wetlands and Biodiversity Conservation for Lagos Central Senatorial District held at Yaba Local Council Development Area, adding that the State Government has commenced the identification of all Wetlands within the five divisions in Lagos State.
He said that the government is planning to review the draft policy on wetlands management and conservation of its Biodiversity (2016) to restore, protect and conserve degraded wetlands in Lagos State for better use.
According to him, the Advocacy Programme with the theme: “We’re Part of The Solution # For Nature”, is part of efforts towards creating awareness on the importance of preserving wetlands and maintaining a healthy ecosystem.
The Commissioner, represented by the Permanent Secretary Office of Environmental Services, Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Mr. Mobolaji Gaji, explained that the objective is achievable through the stoppage of growing challenges preventing wetlands encroachment in the State, restoring degraded wetlands, protecting identified wetlands and restriction of human activities on wetlands areas.
He averred that it is the responsibility of every resident to ensure proper soil management and fight biodiversity loss, adding that governments, Organisations, Communities and Individuals around the world must be encouraged to commit to proactively improving wetland management.
His words: ”There is no better time than now for us as a State Government that is very concerned about the state of our wetlands to scale-up the level of awareness as it affects residents in the Lagos Central Senatorial District and to enlighten you on the importance of Wetlands Conservation”.
He said that climate change is of great concern and a matter of global importance caused by biodiversity loss and wildlife habitat destruction as a result of the growing demands of industrialisation, housing needs as well as urbanisation in society today.
The Commissioner explained that Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for people, fish and wildlife, noting that some of these services and functions include protecting and improving water quality, providing food, habitat for fish and wildlife, storing floodwaters and maintaining surface water flow during dry periods.
Bello stated that the benefits of proper Wetlands Management abound, hence it is imperative for the State Government to act now to mitigate against adverse effects of wrong management of the ecosystem.