FG approves 10 more national parks

The federal government has approved 10 additional National Parks bringing the total number in the Country to 17.

The Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubabak, who made this known while briefing newsmen in Abuja named them as- Allawa Game Reserve, Allawa National Park 310 km2 Niger, Apoi Forest Reserve Apoi National Park, 64.77 km2 Bayelsa, Edumenum Forest Reserve Edumenum National Park 86.76 km2 Bayelsa, Falgore Game Reserve Falgore National Park , 920 km2 Kano

Hadeja Wetland Game Reserve, Hadeja Wetland National Park 320 km2 Jigawa.

Kampe Forest Reserve Kampe National Park 652.86 km2 Kwara, Kogo Forest Reserve Kogo National Park 212.66 km2 Katsina, Marhai Forest Reserve, Marhai National Park 54.00 km2 Nasarawa.

Oba Hill Forest Reserve Oba Hills National Park 52.5 km2 Osun,

Pandam Forest Reserve Pandam National Park 244 km2 Plateau

He stated that an executive bill will be presented to the National Assembly for necessary action.

Abubabak noted that, the first National Park in Nigeria, Kainji Lake was created in 1979.

He further stated that the creation of additional National Parks in Nigeria has become imperative in view of the prevailing effects of climate change across the globe.

“This action is geared towards the United Nation’s policy of placing 25% of its member countries’ landmass under permanent vegetation cover for carbon sequestration to mitigate the effects of climate change and ameliorate other ecological challenges.

He stressed that Nigeria currently has 6.7% of her total landmass under vegetation cover which is grossly inadequate in line with global best practices and the creation of these parks will create more employment opportunities, alleviate poverty in rural areas and ultimately enhance the country’s revenue profile, especially now that Nigeria is seeking to diversify its economy.

“The seventeen (17) National Parks cut across the ecological zones of the country except the marine eco-system.

“National Parks are areas reserved and managed for conservation of wildlife and natural resources. The Parks contain several rich and diverse varieties of rare endangered species like Elephants, Gorillas, Giraffes, Monkeys, Golden Cats, Hippopotami, crocodiles etc and a host of plant species.”

According to him, the functions of the National Park Service involve surveillance, patrolling, checking illegal activities of poachers in the Parks, enforcement of relevant international treaties and conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory, public enlightenment on the protection and conservation of plants and animals, assisting researchers and searching, arresting and prosecuting offenders.

“The benefits of the National Parks include the protection of life support systems such as watersheds and water catchment areas. National Parks have great potentials for the development of research, particularly on agriculture, medicine and bio-technology. They also serve as field laboratories for Nigerian Universities and other tertiary institutions.

He added that the National Parks are Nigeria’s eco-treasure and have the potentials of contributing substantially to the National economy when fully developed as obtains in East and Southern Africa.

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