NIGERIA: Nigerian Wildlife Conservation Week (25th – 29th June 2018)
The French Embassy, which has supported initiatives that aim to protect biodiversity for the past 2 years, organized a Wildlife Conservation Week in Nigeria from the 25th to the 29th of June 2018 in the Institut Français in Abuja in partnership with the Wildlife Conversation Society (WCS).
Three main events made up the week’s activities:
A photo exhibition: the photo exhibition which was open to a large public was a chance to highlight the main threats facing wildlife in Nigeria as well as the existing measures being taken to improve coexistence between man and animals especially in wildlife parks such as the Yankari games reserve and the National Park in Cross River State.
Sensitization of School children in Abuja: this part was carried out with close to 150 pupils from different partner schools of the Institut Français and consisted of sessions dedicated to sensitizing them to the importance of protecting nature and wildlife as well as a guided tour of the photo exhibition by two officials of the Wildlife Conservation Society.
A roundtable discussion on wildlife conservation in Nigeria: this event was organized to sensitize the public to the importance of conservation and to improve coordination among stakeholders. The event which recorded a turnout of close to 60 people (journalists, representatives of agencies, NGOs and embassies), involved lively discussions and comments between the attendees and the facilitators (from the Ministry of Environment, National Parks Service and the Wildlife Conservation Society). At the end of the discussion, it was agreed that a coordination platform, to be housed in the Ministry of Environment and supported by the WCS, would be created.
The success of the event was proof that quite a number of Nigerians realize the importance of the subject of wildlife conservation and more generally of the environment. Through its organization of events such as the Wildlife Conservation Week and through its partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Society, the French Embassy in Nigeria aims to promote biodiversity in Nigeria. The Embassy’s intent is also to maintain coordination between stakeholders in environment-related issues and it is within this framework that it is currently mobilizing groups for a WCS project that seeks to improve trans-border conservation between Nigeria and Cameroon.