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UAE to support Nigeria’s wild life

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged to support Nigeria’s wild preservation to reduce the impact of climate change. The UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr…

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has pledged to support Nigeria’s wild preservation to reduce the impact of climate change.

The UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Fahad AL-Taffaq, said this yesterday in Abuja during an official visit to the Nigerian National Park (NNP) headquarters.

The visit focused on the rehabilitation of the endangered Scimitar-horned Oryx, a breed of the Antelope family and discussions on ways UAE could partner with the National Park Service in zoos and wild life programmes.

“To understand the species that we would focus on and identify areas in the National Park or National Game Reserves where these species could be introduced, through discussions we can arrive at fruitful conclusions that will add value to the environment in Nigeria and that is what we hope for.

“I think climate change is a major dimension that we should focus on in Nigeria, especially around the Lake Chad Basin where a big number of people are calling it home. Through initiatives and mutual understanding of situations in the Lake Chad Basin, I believe climate change is something we can work on. Along with other economic and humanitarian supports, this could be initiated along this line,” AL-Taffaq said.

He said the visit was to see how the UAE could collaborate with Nigeria to reintroduce species that were extinct back to the wild in Nigeria.

He said UAE placed importance on wildlife and had reintroduced many species which were extinct back to the environment and also identified certain habitats across the globe where those animals which were extinct are being reintroduced in some parts of the Sahara.

The Conservator-General of National Park Service, Dr. Ibrahim Goni, lauded the discussion as a right step towards tackling issues about climate change and endangered species in Nigeria.

On plans to introduce the Scimitar-horned Oryx to the country, he said it would a long process, because the nation has to meet international conventional treaties on endangered species of flora and fauna involved.

“Once Nigeria is cleared, we can bring in certain animals in ways that we need, particularly in the Chad Basin National Park. Inventory shows that endangered species were once in the Chad Basin National Park, it was because of human activities their populations decimated.

“So, reintroducing them is a good idea, just alike we have started with UAE; they have given us launching pad which we intend to build up,” Ibrahim said.

He promised to brief the Minister of Environment on outcome of their discussion for furtherance of the goals.

He appealed to the federal government to strengthen the capacity in area of wild life conservation services, to achieve targets.

Goni said 607 suspects had been arrested between January and November 2019 for various offences.

 

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