Many species of plants, animals and birds are on a verge of extinction due to human activity. The insatiable quest of man due to his need and greed has done many activities that not only harm the environment but himself too.
Some of these activities that harm the climate include deforestation, using fossil fuel, industrial waste, a different type of pollution and many more. All these things damage the climate and ecosystem very badly.
These climatic changes have a negative impact on the environment. The ocean level is rising, glaciers are melting, CO2 in the air is increasing, forest and wildlife are declining, and water life is also getting disturbed due to climatic changes.
The situation in the Niger Delta region is not an exception considering the level of indiscriminate logging and wildlife hunting which have contributed adversely to the environmental degradation of the oil rich region.
These activities have threatened the extinction of many species of plants and animals in the region and there will be a heavy loss to the environment if these problems are neglected and nothing is been done.
In his own effort to preserve the Niger Delta rain forests and its diverse wildlife, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, Azibaola Robert, FNSC, and his team had embarked on a 14 days expedition into the Niger Delta deep forests starting from Otakeme community in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to Azibaola, the aim of the expedition was to highlight the natural endowments of Nigeria and the Niger Delta with emphasis on the communities within the region, adding that heart-rending discoveries were made as to the level of the destruction of the biodiversity of the area.
The 14 days expedition which has climax, preceded a wondering bonfire night as a grand finale, with the intent to create awareness and enlighten the people of the Niger Delta on the importance of the Niger Delta rainforest and why it has to be protected.
The bonfire night which was held on Sunday July 10, 2022 in Otakeme had in attendance members of the community, traditional rulers of Ogbia Kingdom and the Ogbia brotherhood youths executives.
According to Robert, the communities are taking ownership of the task of putting to an end mindless wood logging and depletion of prestine natural forests resources for economic gain of few people.
The bonfire night also created an opportunity for the chairman of Zeetin Engineering Nigeria limited and Kakatar Group Limited to engage with farmers and hunters on ways to protect the rainforest and wildlife of the region, noting acts of indiscriminate logging and hunting activity are pushing many animal and plant species to the brink of extinction.
This disturbing revelation formed part of discussions during a town hall meeting with community stakeholders tagged ‘Bonfire Night With Azibaola Robert’, an event which featured talks on sustainable logging and hunting activities.
Speaking to journalists during an interview, Azibaola who expressed worry over the deplorable condition of the Niger Delta environment, cautioned against the high spate of indiscriminate logging and wildlife hunting, saying if not curtailed, it could spiral into a total extinction of trees, fishes and animals species habituating the region’s rainforests.
He hinted that indiscriminate logging, wildlife hunting by natives and non-natives of the region and uncontrolled environmental pollution caused by activities of multinational companies are threatening the region’s flora and fauna.
He said: “I am not doing this event because I want to criticize the government for not doing enough to protect our rainforests. The Niger Delta is called the rainforest because when it rains in the communities here, it also rains in the Niger Delta region’s forests.
“The Niger Delta has one of the largest rainforests in the world. The largest rainforest is called the Amazon rainforest somewhere between Brazil and other American nations. We must protect this blessing given to us by God.
“I grew up in this community as a child, and I know certain places were named after trees. But now all those trees have been fallen down by loggers for furniture and other things. Surprisingly, you can’t find any furniture industry in this area but can find them in areas that don’t have the rainforest like us here.
“I’m not doing this programme to gain anything, but to enlighten our people and create awareness on the dangers of deforestation and the near-total extinction of our biodiversity.
“I am not too poor, but I’m also not too rich to say I’m doing this event for any selfish gains. Recently, members of my team and other persons, including Journalists went into the Otakeme forest on a 14-day expedition to uncover the spate of environmental degradation of our rainforests in which we discovered that certain animals, trees and other biodiversity have completely gone into extinction.
“If you cut one tree, plant more, because, without these trees, there won’t be life. The oxygen we breathe comes from the trees which take in carbon dioxide from the environment and give us oxygen for our survival.”