By Gracious George
Bayelsa State Government says the conservation of Wildlife was key to the Sustenance of the Environment and therefore urged people of the state to preserve the forest and wildlife.
The State Commissioner for Environment Mr. Iselema Gbaranbiri stated this during a virtual meeting with stakeholders in the state to mark this year’s World Wildlife Day.
The Environment Commissioner stated that Bayelsa State and it’s future was dependent on the successful harnessing of the enormous resources in our environment, both on land and water.
He stressed that preserving and conservation of wildlife was key to the government and as such, his ministry has decided to work with meaningful organizations and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the environment was given protection and attention.
In his remark, the Director forestry in the Ministry of Environment, Mr. Festus Egba stressed the need to preserve forest to conserve wildlife in the state, adding that the forest is an habitat for wildlife and must be managed wisely so that wildlife do not go into extinction.
Egba, disclosed that presently Bayelsa State has two forest reserves that were nationally recognized namely; The Apoi and Edumanom forest reserves and that, if properly managed would provide a good habitat for the state’s wildlife.
The Youth Affairs Coordinator of Akassa Development Foundation (ADF), Mr. Raynus Ebiegberi made a presentation titled, “Conservation in Bayelsa State: Results and Challenges.
He noted that Bayelsa State is designated as a key Biodiversity Area (KBA) with several endangered species of land and water birds captured in the birdlife baseline survey and that the entire wildlife population was gradually going into extinction due to over exploitation by humans.
Ebiegberi who is also the Secretary General, West African Sea Turtle Conservation Network (WASTCON), said the illegal felling of trees and other exploitation activities of man was increasing daily and rendering wildlife homeless.
He therefore pleaded for the state government to implement laws against wildlife trading, illegal lumbering, and the likes to control human activities.
Renowned Environmentalist, Mr. Morris Alagoa in his presentation, titled: “Effect of Oil Pollution on Wildlife”, noted that Bayelsa State from one of NESREA’s report was said to be the most polluted in Nigeria.