Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, National Park Service (PKS) says conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity can strengthen ecosystem resilience.
He said biodiversity could also improve the ability of ecosystems to provide critical services in the face of increasing climatic pressure.
Goni spoke in an interview with our reporter on Wednesday in Abuja to mark the 2019 World Biodiversity Day.
May 22 every year is declared World Biodiversty Day with the theme: “Our Biodiversity, Our Food, Our Health”.
Goni said that this year’s celebration focuses on biodiversity as the foundation for food and health and a key catalyst to transforming food systems and improving human health.
“It highlights the importance of sustainable agriculture not only to preserve biodiversity, but also to ensure that we will be able to feed the world, maintain agricultural livelihoods, and enhance human wellbeing of the public.
“The links between biodiversity and climate change run both ways – biodiversity is threatened by human-induced climate change but biodiversity resources can reduce the impacts of climate change on people and the environment.
“The conservation of habitats can reduce the amount of CO2 released into the atmosphere.
“Conserving certain species such as mangroves and drought resistant crops can reduce the disastrous impacts of climate change effects such as flooding and famine.”
He said that the sustainability of the people, their livelihoods and the importance of the conversation of biodiversity “cannot be overemphasized”.
“Biodiversity is referred to all the variety of life that can be found on Earth, be it plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms as well as to the communities that they form and the habitats in which they live.
“There we must conserve biodiversity that is sensitive to climate change and preserve habitats to facilitate the long-term adaptation of biodiversity.”
Goni said that the National Park Service had fully integrate biodiversity considerations into the service’s mitigation and adaptation plans.
“Biological diversity is essential for human existence and has a crucial role to play in sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.
“It provides millions of people with livelihoods, helps to ensure food security, and is a rich source of both traditional medicines and modern pharmaceuticals.
“We must not joke with the conservation of biodiversity because it is essential for alleviating poverty and achieving the Millennium Development Goals (SDG’s).”
He therefore urged special interest groups, academic institutions, communities to take responsibilities in the conservation of biodiversity and to use biological resources in a sustainable way.
“We must leverage on the knowledge and spread awareness of the dependency of our food systems, nutrition, and health on biodiversity and healthy ecosystems’’.