Wildlife Trafficking: Nigeria, Cameroon sign MoU on transboundary ecosystems

The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Republic of Cameroon on Transboundary Ecosystems Conservation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the MoU, signed on Friday in Abuja, is on cooperation framework on Transboundary Ecosystems Conservation and Sustainable Management of Forestry and Wildlife Resources.

Speaking at the event, the Minister of Environment, Balarabe Lawal, said the bilateral agreement demonstrated the importance of cooperation in tackling global challenges.

He said the event was also was of great significance as it underscored the commitment of the present administration to collaborate with Cameroon in managing and conserving shared natural resources.

Lawal said that Nigeria and Cameroon not only shared common border but also common vision on the best approach towards the protection and conservation of natural resources.

‘Apart from the global phenomenon of climate change and environmental challenges, social factors including over-populatio
n, poverty, food insecurity has continued to immerse these resources to the brink of extinction

‘While this is going on, transboundary criminality such as illegal logging, poaching and wildlife trafficking have further aggravated the trend.

‘It seem to have vindicated the reverberating but appalling warning revealed in the landmark Inter-Governmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), 2019 Global Assessment Report,’ he said.

The minister said that the 2019 Global Assessment Report said that about one million species were threatened with extinction, and many within decades.

He said the agreement symbolised a milestone and provided a platform for the establishment of a joint transboundary management framework.

Lawal said the agreement would facilitate cooperation and coordination between two countries on matters relating to the conservation and sustainable use of our natural resources.

‘This framework will be instrumental in ensuring the effective conservation and sust
ainable management of our forests and wildlife resources, which are critical to our ecosystem services, livelihoods, and sustainable development.

The minister assured that Nigeria would not fail in playing its part in ensuring successful implementation of the agreement.

‘We must continue to engage in constructive dialogue, and remain steadfast in ensuring that our natural resources are sustainably managed and conserved for the benefit of present and future generations,’ he said.

In an address, the Minister of Forestry and Wildlife, Cameroon, Mr Jules DoretNdongo, said it was an hounour to witness signing of the Transboundary agreement between his country and Nigeria.

He also expressed gratitude to President Bola Tinubu for agreeing to host the long awaited bilateral partnership.

DoretNdongo urged all stakeholders to be more committed to the implementation of the agreement.

In a Goodwill message, the Country representative, UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Dr Oliver Stolpe, congratulated the governm
ents of Nigeria and Cameroon on milestone achievement of the signing of the MoU.

‘This signals the importance that both countries have given to wildlife and forest crime and collaboration and cooperation to combat these crimes.

‘UNODC pledges its support to the implementation of the cooperation agreement and in the efforts to combat crimes that affect the environment in general,’ he said.

Stolpe was represented by Mrs Folusho Adelekan, Wildlife Team Lead, UNODC.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

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