NCF – NIGERIA – World Wetlands Day 2024

Category: MBP newsletter content

Published: April 24th, 2024

Wetlands are dynamic aquatic ecosystems found all over the world. It’s an area of land that is saturated with water either permanently or seasonally. It can be freshwater, brackish, or saline. World Wetlands Day (WWD) helps create awareness about the beneficial impact of wetlands on Mother Nature. WWD is commemorated every year on February 2nd to raise global awareness about the vital role of wetlands for people and our planet, with the need to preserve and conserve them as it plays a critical role in our natural environment.
Protecting wetlands can protect our safety and welfare.
The aims of World Wetlands Day is to raise awareness about the importance of wetlands for humanity and the planet’s health, as well as to promote their conservation and sustainable use. It’s a day to highlight the value of wetlands in providing clean water, biodiversity, and flood control among other benefits.

Children and adults doing a litter-pick

Wetlands and Human Being:
Each World Wetlands Day is organized around a theme that focuses attention on a particular pressing environmental concern. The theme for this year is “Wetlands and Human Being”. The commemoration raises awareness and increases people’s understanding of the critical importance of wetlands. Wetlands can be thought of as biological supermarket that provided a great volume of food that attract many animal species. These animals use wetlands for part of or all their life cycle. It provides values that no other ecosystem can which include natural water quality improvement, flood protection, shoreline, erosion control, opportunities for recreation and aesthetic appreciation and natural products for use at no cost.
Despite the numerous benefits that humans receive from wetlands, every day wetlands are damaged by human beings. Wetlands are being destroyed by unsustainable agricultural practices which are a primary cause of wetland loss through drainage and filling. Many wetlands, particularly those near cities, have also been polluted by human activities and recently further degraded by plastic pollution, which exacerbates the triple planetary crisis of climate change, nature loss and pollution ultimately affecting human health.

Activities and Event:
Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) commemorated 2024 World Wetlands with schools within Akodo Ise Community Lekki LCDA Ibeju-Lekki Lagos State. Akodo Ise is a rural or semi-urban community with a mix of residential, commercial, agricultural activities. It has a traditional leadership structure such as a village head who oversees local affairs. The community has basic amenities such as schools, healthcare facilities, markets, and places of worship. The community has a diverse population consisting of various ethnic groups and families engaged in different occupations such as farming, fishing, trading, and artisanal crafts. Despite its richness in mangroves ecosystem situated along the coast, the place is gradually taken over by lots of activities caused by humans which has caused the forest degradation in the area. This year World Wetlands Day was commemorated in the area for communities around Akodo Ise to be aware of peculiarity of their unique environment, the potentials it holds now and in the nearest future and the role they need to play in conserving and protecting their wetlands. On this day, twenty (20) schools including individuals within the communities was engaged in the beach clean-up exercise to mitigate the effect of pollution in the area and bird watching to get familiar with birds around wetlands area. Species of birds sighted at the beach are: Great Egret, Little Egret, Reed Cormorant, Red Kite, and yellow billed Kite. Conservation Club was inaugurated in the schools, and useful materials such as Club manual, magazine on nature to guide the coordinators on the easy running of the club was donated to the schools.

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