Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, Nigeria National Parks Service has called for private sector partnership with relevant government agencies to curb climate change.
Goni made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said that the national parks were the solution to the challenges posed by climate change through the preservation of the country’s natural resources.
He said that the activities at the national parks across the country were not only to conserve the country’s animals and plants but to deliberately carry out its duties to mitigate climate change and improve afforestation.
He said that with the participation of the private sector, there would be accurate value on natural resources that would be fully incorporated into the way decisions were made for the progress of the environment.
“Private sector participation will also ensure that all key actors from local communities to state and federal government must recognise the part they must play in finding and implementing solutions to their local environments.’’
Goni said that the primary responsibility of the private sector was to support efforts of government agencies to address climate change, biodiversity, forests, land degradation, desertification and chemical pollutants.
“These efforts should include projects aimed at addressing the environmental pressures created by the global trend toward urbanisation as well as to manage it in a sustainable way.
“People think that the national park is a motor park but we have to educate them about the actual roles of the agency.
“It is only at the national parks that you can see all long forgotten medicinal trees that are preserved, enhanced, protected and managed in the vegetation as well as wild animals in the country.
“We do not only plant the trees but nurture them to achieve the desired purpose,’’ he said.
Goni said that the park established an ecologically and geographically balanced network of protected areas to protect endangered species of wild plants and animals and their habitats.
“We regulate the use of these unique ecosystems as a means of preserving the country’s fauna and flora, the habitats and the unique sceneries they afford.
“We conserve our abundant heritage and diversity of species and maintain them at the optimum level commensurate with other forms of land use.’’
He said that the park had developed a network of national parks that would compete favourably with other national parks in the world.
“To this end, the park service is making efforts to put in place Operational Management Plans for each Park, and Systems Plan for the entire country.
“A National Park System that meets the hopes and aspirations of Nigerians, and indeed the whole world in preserving and protecting our natural heritage and the cultural relics that enliven them for generations to come.’’