By: Mayen Etim
KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A Non-Governmental Organization, (NGO), Bridge That Gap Initiative says the destruction and rapid reduction of plant and wildlife populations are causes driven by human activities.
Founder/Executive Director of the NGO, Ms Gloria Bulus, stated this during the Earth Day celebration organised by the group in collaboration with Centre for Energy and Environmental Research Studies in Kaduna on Thursday, April 18, 2019.
According to her, nature has blessed the Earth with different gifts like sun, air, wind, hills, mountains, rivers, lakes, streams, plants, animals among others, but human activities like climate change, deforestation, habitat loss, over exploitation, degradation, unsustainable agriculture, pollution and excessive nutrient load through use of pesticides, herbicides and other heavy chemicals are fast destroying and reducing plant, and wildlife populations.
She said that in spite of knowing the importance of biodiversity, human activities have been causing massive destructions.
“The current extinction rate is now approaching 1,000 times the past and may likely reach up to 10,000 times in the next century.
“The impacts is here already. If we do not act now, extinction may be humanity’s ‘most enduring legacy.’
“What happened to the bats that were always around Lugard Hall where the House of Assembly is presently located? The vultures, the hawks, even the grasshoppers? The donkeys? We don’t see so much of them anymore,” she queried.
Bulus stated further that the good news is that the rate of extinctions can still be slowed, and many of the threatened and endangered species can still be recovered if we work together now to build a united global movement of individuals, stakeholders, government, elected leaders, academia, faith leaders, researchers, scientists, media and communities to demand immediate action.
“Today, we must join hands with millions of others, our voices must mingle with millions of voices around the world dedicated to biodiversity conservation and environmental protection.
“Let us use our hands, voices and every available power to protect our species. That way we can tell mother nature that we can hear her call clearly and together, I mean collectively we will save our species.
“This event seeks to create better understanding for biodiversity conservation and human activities that affects species and our aim is to enhance specie protection.
“We are looking at how we can change the perception on practices that can lead to species extinct or contribute to it, and how we can build a culture for biodiversity protection,” she said.
Dignatories at the event includes: Speaker Kaduna State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon Aminu Shagali, represented by his Deputy, Rt. Hon Nuhu Shadalafiya, Commissioner
Kaduna State Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Amina Sijuwade represented by Director Environment, Yusuf Usman, and KASU VC, represented by Dean Faculty of Science, Dr. Sadik Abdul.
Others are: Hon Marcus Yari, Member representing Chikun Constituency in Kaduna Assembly, who represented chairman House Committee on Environment, Director, Centre for Energy and Environmental Research Studies, Dr. Yahaya Saleh as well as Kaduna Environmental Protection Agency (KEPA), and Kaduna State Ministry of Agriculture, among others.
As part of activities to mark the day, trees were planted at Kaduna State University, (KASU), where the Deputy Speaker, Hon Shadalafya performed the ceremonial planting.
Earth Day is a global celebration held annually on 22nd April.