Biodiversity in Nigeria
I recently had the good fortune to visit Nigeria to experience firsthand and up close its biodiversity. Of course, I have been to Nigeria countless times and even lived there but this time I was intentional about finding out more about the ecosystem.
Nigeria, a country known for its rich culture, great food, and brilliant minds has an amazing natural diversity that isn’t often spoken about. Although my trip was short and I felt like it was not close to enough to take in even 000.1% of what the country had to offer, I was determined to experience as much as I could.
Lagos a city with potential for wildlife
My starting point was Lagos, a city known for its hustle and bustle. It is also a city that has been greatly developed in the past decades. As you know, with development in nature and wildlife-rich places, comes habitat loss for the wildlife that live there. Amid its high rises and fast-developing estates, I was surprised to still find a good amount of wildlife thriving in the city. Here, you will find various species of birds and insects. You may not run into animals like lions but you will enjoy the little wildlife that crawls and flies.
My experience with cities like Los Angeles is that the government makes way for protected lands. These are lands that stay untouched and are protected because of their recognized cultural, natural, or ecological values. It is good to have protected lands, especially for nature and wildlife. One thing I did note about Lagos is the lack of protected lands. I asked several sources and all I would get is a no or not to their knowledge. If this information is wrong, please do feel free to reach out.
Within Lagos, many sand fillings are going on as we speak and this has negatively affected, some to the point of being endangered, some of the wildlife in the region. I do not need to tell you why it is important that we protect the biodiversity in our regions. This “circle of life” is what keeps everything going and not having balance affects us in many negative ways. I will speak of these things in further texts but for now let’s focus on Nigeria and its biodiversity.
Nigeria: Rainforests and Savannas
Nigeria’s biodiversity stretches from its lush rainforests in the south to the arid savannas in the north. It is truly a blessed country. It is home to a vast array of ecosystems, which include a variety of flora and fauna. The country has several national parks and reserves (which I visited) that provide sanctuary to several wildlife species and a wide array of bird species. In terms of conservation efforts being done in the region, I still feel that there could be more.
Nature Conservation in Nigeria: Challenges Faced
Nigeria’s biodiversity faces challenges, primarily due to habitat destruction, deforestation, and over-exploitation of natural resources. The Niger Delta, a region of immense ecological significance, has been significantly impacted by oil exploration and pollution. Conservation efforts in Nigeria have made strides in recent years, with initiatives, mostly spearheaded by private organizations, focused on protecting endangered species and conserving vital ecosystems. Again, I believe that more could be done.
Importance of Education about Nature and Biodiversity
Organizations and local communities are working together to safeguard this natural heritage but there needs to be more education. I believe that the average Nigerian who does not know the importance of their ecosystem is at a disadvantage and the reason for this lack of knowledge is because they are seldom educated about it. I believe that recognizing the importance of biodiversity will help in sustaining both the environment and the livelihoods of the Nigerian people. As Nigeria continues to develop, striking a balance between economic growth and environmental preservation will be crucial to ensure the longevity of its remarkable biodiversity. We must all lend a hand to make it happen.
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