An environmental rights-focused group, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has called for urgent and collective efforts to protect and preserve biodiversity.
The Foundation in a statement issued on Friday to commemorate the World Environment Day stressed the importance of biodiversity and the need to preserve it.
HOMEF in the statement signed by its Project Officer, Mfoniso Antia, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), noted that biodiversity was a fundamental part of a healthy ecosystem.
“Biodiversity is life. It is the hanger that sustains human existence. It helps maintain the balance of ecosystems and keeps them functioning and self-sustaining. The continued destruction of biodiversity will mean a distortion of the balance of life.
“Food production systems depend on the diversity of organisms including the plants, plant eaters, carnivores, decomposers (microorganisms) and the pollinators all of whose activities are interconnected.
“Biodiversity is linked to the resilience of ecosystems. In agriculture, it ensures resilience to the impacts of climate change.”
The statement quoted one of HOMEF’s volunteers, Benita Siloko as saying that: “The functioning of ecosystems and the services they provide depend on biodiversity and environmental condition.
“Given that human activities are causing loss of biodiversity and changing environmental conditions, it is necessary that these consequences are better understood to enable societal responses and actions.
“Attention is called to the fact that millions of species of plants and animals are at the brink of extinction mainly due to human activities.
“Deforestation, overhunting/overfishing, oil pollution, genetic modification of crops/excessive use of toxic chemicals are some of our activities which threaten biodiversity.
“The erosion of biodiversity will have serious implication on food production and ecosystems resilience. Consequences of biodiversity loss also include the emergence and spread of diseases such as COVID-19 amongst humans,” Siloko was quoted as saying.
The group recommended that to preserve biodiversity, a multi-stakeholders’ collaboration was required.
According to the group, the team of young environmentalists and ecological defenders, governments, the private sector and the general public should collectively make efforts to preserve biodiversity.
The team outlined the following as some of the ways to protect biodiversity:
“We must shift from the mindset of competition that entrenches the harms done to the environment, while in pursuit of economic growth. We need to work in harmony with nature instead of against it.
“We should leave what is in the wild and desist from overconsumption. We should stop pollution and learn to live sustainably with respect for natural laws and cycles.”
HOMEF stressed that the government needed to make and implement laws to protect endangered species.
“We should focus on eco-friendly approaches to global challenges, including those of food and climate change.
“It is time to respect the integrity of our biodiversity and thus ward off the intrusion of viruses such as the new coronavirus. Healthy biodiversity supports a healthy population,” the group said.