…says parks now upgraded to para-military status
BY FUNMI OLASUPO
Abuja — The Federal Government has identified parks’ degradation and poaching of wildlife as some of the threats to the development of National Parks and sustainability of wildlife in Nigeria.
Minister of Environment, Mrs. Laurentia Mallam, made the observation at the inaugural meeting with MESSRS T. Y. Holdings Ltd and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation on private sector participation in the management of national parks in Nigeria, in Abuja.
The Minister also revealed that the National Park had been upgraded to full status of a para-military organisation, explaining that with the new status, the National Park Service would be able to curtail incidents of poaching and sporadic attacks on park personnel.
Speaking on challenges facing the parks, the Minister listed degradation of parks, poaching of wildlife as some of the factors leading to threats of extinction of some of the wildlife species in the country.
According to her, while these affect various wildlife species, attacks on parks protection officers, habitat destructions and infrastructure decay are also some of the daunting challenges facing the nation’s parks.
She noted that the Ministry had stepped up efforts to address some of the challenges, as she called for government’s collaboration with the private sector to overcome the ‘teething challenges.’
Mrs. Laurentia appealed to stakeholders at all levels to commit themselves to the protection and conservation of the environment and its natural resources for sustainable development.