25 July 2020 by Florence Adewale
As part of measures towards ensuring the protection of mangroves and oceans in the country, the Federal Government is considering a National Mangrove Restoration Project for environmental and sustainable livelihood of people living in the Niger Delta region.
Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, made this known at an event to commemorate the 2020 International Day for the Conservation of the Mangrove Ecosystem.
The minister said the federal government was ready to support any programme that would help in promoting healthy mangrove ecosystem in the country.
According to her Nigeria has the largest mangrove cover in Africa, and the fourth largest in the World noting that over 60% of these mangroves, equivalent to 6,000 square kilometres, was found in the Niger-Delta region.
“Physically, they serve as buffers between marine and terrestrial communities; protect shorelines from damaging winds, waves and floods; and reduce coastal erosion. Mangrove thickets improve water quality by filtering pollutants and trapping sediments from the land” She explained.
In her words “Ecologically, they provide habitat for a diverse array of terrestrial organisms and support a rich biodiversity. Their soils are highly effective carbon sinks, sequestering vast amounts of carbon, thereby reducing Greenhouse Gases.”
The Minister called on individuals and corporate organizations to support government’s effort in making sure that mangroves were restored and protected across the country.
She added that the federal government was demonstrating its commitment to the conservation and management of the mangroves, by signing and ratifying some multilateral agreements, such as the Abidjan Convention, Ramsar Convention and Maputo Convention, among others.
The theme for this year’s celebration is “Towards a Sustainable Use of Mangrove Wood Resources”.