World Wildlife Day 2020: Ikeazor Restates FG’s Commitment to Wildlife Protection.


As Nigeria joins the rest of the World to mark the 2020 World Wildlife Day, the Honourable Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor has called on Nigerians to protect wildlife and plant species and support  Federal Government’s effort in tackling illegal wildlife trade across  international   ports  and border  posts of  the country.

In line  with  the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the World Wildlife Day (WWD) celebrated annually is one of  the most important global annual event dedicated to wildlife and its protection. It is a day that stimulates awareness on wildlife conservation and arouses political will, attention and public action.

The theme for this year’s celebration is; ‘Sustaining all life on Earth’.   Ikeazor stated that the theme is timely and all-encompassing as biodiversity is critically  endangered and there is a need to rescue these natural resources and the planet at large. She restated Federal Government’s readiness to give maximum support for the protection of wildlife   and   its   sustainability   as   Nigeria   is   a   signatory   to   a   number   of   treaties   on   the conservation of Endangered Species.  

While reiterating Nigeria’s commitment to the fight against illegal wildlife trade, she noted that Nigeria joined other 182 nations to sign and ratify the International   CITES   Convention   in   1974,   and   to   give   credence   to   this   Convention, Nigeria promulgated the Endangered Species Decree No. 11 in 1985, which is now enacted as Endangered Species Act 2016.

The Minister who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. Wadinga Bakari at the event, further disclosed that  Nigeria is endowed with enormous biodiversity resources of both plant and animal species.  

Noting that, there   are   about   7,895   plant   species   and   over   22,000   vertebrate   and invertebrate species which include; insects, fish, birds and mammals which shows the depth of natural resources found within the geographical boundary of the country.

She said the effective  management  of  these  enormous resources  in  actualizing  the United  Nations Sustainable Development Goals calls for the celebration of the World Wildlife Day. She however reiterates that this is not a day to just dine and wine but rather, it’s time to check and balance the successes recorded in the fight against wildlife crimes and also improve awareness on the threat of the unsustainable harvest of our wildlife resources.

She however advised that the Nigeria CITES   Management   Authority in partnership with several Security Agencies such as the Police (Interpol unit), Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Immigration Service, NESREA, FAAN, Ministry   of   Justice   and   many   more forms  a   Joint  Task Force in Combating Illegal trade of wildlife resources in order to curb poachers and traffickers.

Ikeazor reaffirmed the Ministry’s role as focal point of CITES implementation in Nigeria and its commitment to conserve wild species which according to her, were now almost driven into extinction due to over exploitation, habitat change and illicit trafficking. She added that the Ministry intends to continue to create awareness knowing that  solving  environmental   issues   will   require   truly   comprehensive   action   and response at the local and international   levels.

She finally called for attitudinal change and advocacy to save the environment and its endangered species. 


Saghir el Mohammed

Director Press

Federal Ministry of Environment