In a bid to promote birds’ conservation in Nigeria, especially at coastal and riverine areas, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) engaged students and community dwellers in a participatory conservation activity to commemorate the World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD).
WMBD was hosted in Lagos, Rivers, and Yobe under the theme, “Water: Sustaining Life”. WMBD is a yearly awareness-raising campaign celebrated every second Saturday in May and October, to highlight the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
It is also global outreach and an effective tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance and need for international cooperation to conserve them.
This year’s event took place at Totowu community, Egan Igando Alimosho council, Lagos State. Totowu is a small village located at Isuti Road in Igando. The village is on the boundary between Lagos and Ogun States and the mode of transportation is by canoe. Five schools from Igando benefitted from the project, namely T&G School, Aima School, St Bernards School, Speed Academy and St Zita School.
Boat riders and traders within the community were educated on the importance of water to birds, the need to always put out water for birds, as well as building bird feeders, protecting water resources, identifying different categories of birds and how to identify them with the use of binoculars and bird guides.
NCF Species Pillar Lead, Dr. Stella Egbe, represented by Ms. Ibukun Lawal, said: “Water is fundamental to life on our planet. Many migratory birds rely on aquatic ecosystems during their life cycles. Inland and coastal wetlands, rivers, lakes, streams, marshes, and ponds are all vital for feeding, drinking, or nesting and serve as places to rest, as well as refuel during their long journeys.”
Unfortunately, aquatic ecosystems are becoming increasingly threatened around the world and so are the migratory birds that depend on them. The increasing human demand for water, as well as pollution increase and climate change, are having a direct impact on the availability of clean water and the conservation status of many migratory birds.
WMBD was commemorated at NCF Finima office, where a bird watching activity was carried out by the Finima Nature Park Bird Club to mark the event. A total of 31 species of birds were sighted and recorded. The Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands also had a three-kilometre road walk to further raise awareness .
MEANWHILE, NCF has teamed up with First City Monument Bank Plc (FCMB) in providing practical solutions to the menace of plastic pollution to commemorate World Environment Day (WED).
The easy-to-adopt and adaptable approaches NCF and FCMB jointly provided in Lagos were recycling, upcycling and beach cleanup. The programme commenced with the distribution of recycle bins to five selected schools and was concluded with a beach clean-up exercise at Okun-Ajah Beach, Okun-Ajah Lagos.
The beneficiary schools are Community Senior High School, Surulere; Itolo Girls Senior Secondary School, Surulere; Lagos Progressive Senior Secondary School, Surulere; Resettlement Junior Secondary School, Ilaje; and Ikota Primary School, Ikota.
In his remark, NCF Director General, represented by Acting Director of Technical Programme, Adedayo Memudu, said: “The enormous task we all have is to surmount the challenge of plastic pollution, apply a simple but effective approach to tackle it.”
FCMB Head of Corporate Social Responsibility and Reporting, Mr. Omoniyi Iyanda stated that “FCMB is committed to sponsoring programmes that create balanced opportunities in reducing plastic pollution and other climate risks and increasing awareness on innovative ways to recycle and upcycle these items.”