A Civil Society Organisation (CSO), Climate and Sustainable Development Network (CSDevNet), has call for the prohibition and enforcement of laws against illegal birds and wild life trade.
The coalition of Environment based Civil Society Organisations said this in a statement issued by Mr Pius Oko, Project Officer, CSDevNet, in Abuja to mark the World Migratory Bird Day celebrated on May 9.
Oko said that there should be preservation and protection of breeding areas, wintering areas and stopover sites along their migratory flyways and a united effort on indigenous tree planting.
He noted that these birds play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy ecosystems, nature conservation and environment.
He said migratory birds were increasingly at risk due to climate change and human induced activities such as agriculture and logging.
Oko listed other negative activities to include illegal game hunting, pollution, encroachment for human settlement and invasive species result in rapidly changing environments.
“In commemoration of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, CSDevNet in collaboration with the Nigerian Civil Society Framework on Paris Agreement and the SDGs, call for increased awareness on the important role migratory birds play.
“The importance of migratory birds and the crucial role they play in maintaining a healthy
ecosystems worldwide highlights the need for collaboration to ensure the conservation of these species.
“By conserving these birds and their environment, we ensure the conservation of biodiversity on a wider scale.
” The Nigerian government should lead efforts at conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural cycles that are essential for the survival and well-being of migratory birds.
“Given that there is clear evidence that the destruction of wild areas can facilitate the kinds of infectious diseases the world is now combating, urgent action to better protect and sustain wildlife and their habitats is needed,” he said.
He said the day came at a time when most of human population was under some form of restricted movement due to the coronavirus.
Oko added that the theme for this year’s Day “Birds Connect Our World” carried a particular relevance and poignancy to Nigeria.
According to him, about 20 per cent of all bird species are migratory, and how these bird species involved in large scale movement fare in these ever-changing environments is of conservation importance.
Oko said migratory birds could be found everywhere: in cities, in the countryside, parks and backyards, forests, mountains and deserts, in wetlands and along the shores.
“They connect all of these habitats, and they connect people and the places where we live to people around the world.”
He noted that birds were often considered to be outstanding indicator of the health of the overall environment, adding : “Migratory birds serve key functions in the interconnected ecosystem that keep nature healthy; including pollination and seed dispersal of crops for human and livestock consumption.
“They also serve as early warning system for environmental disasters such as restless birds before a volcanic eruption; pest and rodents regulation saving farmers expenditure on pesticides and crop protection measures.
” These birds also contribute to recycling biomass and in waste disposal and as an aesthetic source of pride for cultures across the globe.”
Oko said by conserving these birds and their environment, the conservation of biodiversity on a wider scale would be ensured.