The Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency has called for support against unlawful trading in wildlife, saying there is a need to prevent the extinction of some special animals and plants.
A statement said the development came on the heels of the recovery of a sea turtle from an illegal poacher who was arrested by the officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline, Eti0-Osa Zone, Lagos.
The General Manager of the agency, Dr Dolapo Fasawe, was quoted as saying, “Our awareness advocacy recently paid off, as the officials of the Kick Against Indiscipline, Eti-Osa Zone, professionally arrested one Muhammad, who confessed to hunting of sea animals at the ocean and selling to awaiting customers. The sea animal was recovered and later released back home into the ocean at Oniru Beach in the presence of our natural resource protection team.”
According to her, the laws covering the preservation and conservation of wildlife in Nigeria are largely enshrined in two sets of Acts, namely: The Nigerian Endangered Species Act (Control of International Trade and Traffic) Act, Decree 11 of the 1985 Constitution and Section 20 of the National Parks Service Act.
Fasawe said, ““It is worthy to note that peculiarities of wildlife conservation and management require all three levels of government to clearly map and detail policies to prevent trafficking of these precious species through various airports and seaports across the state. Therefore, there is need to create several layers of policies and checks to protect our precious biodiversity and also ensure that people acts responsibly by totally avoiding poaching, unhealthy gaming and habitation destruction (bush burning, deforestation.)”
She added, “To achieve the Lagos of our dreams, LASEPA remains committed to ensuring fair and responsible use of the environment in the state, by harmoniously working in relationship with other relevant MDAs such as the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, LASPARK and Ministry of Health to build a holistic framework by which we can adequately protect the precious flora and fauna in Lagos.”
“Lagos State is a largely urban setting with the fastest growing population in Africa. The per capita needs such as housing, industrialisation, recreational centres and other amenities pose danger to the existence of some special animals and plants with limited availability of land for conservation activities.”
Article first published on the Punch Website