Conservator-general of the National Park Service (NPS) Dr Ibrahim Goni has blamed Nigerians for the growing loss of forest reserves, which contributes to global warming.
Goni, who stated this while briefing journalists via zoom conference yesterday, said the service identified ignorance among Nigerians as one of the key factors militating against efforts to fight environmental disasters.
He said findings have shown that some Nigerians still engage in, and abet, illegal logging which causes deforestation across the country.
While condemning the nefarious activities, he warned that the long arms of the law would soon catch up with the perpetrators.
Goni admitted that the service lacks manpower and adequate equipment to effectively protect the parks which he said collaboration with other agencies has helped in filling the gaps.
He said, “No federal government agency has adequate manpower and equipment to discharge its mandate but with the help of inter-agency collaboration, we are able to make up for our weakness. ”
He said the risks from illegal logging are dire considering that trees absorb and store carbon dioxide.
Goni continued: “If forests are cleared, or even disturbed, they release carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases which will be harmful to the environment and humans as well.
Nigeria and Nigerians will be the victims of the activities of these illegal loggers if they continue unchecked,” he said.
He noted that a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is the foundation of human life but due to human activities “the crises of climate change are directly and severely impacting our lives and environment negatively”.
The conservator general restated that deforestation affects all, whether we realise it or not, adding that forests have a big influence on rainfall patterns, water and soil quality and flood prevention too.
He reiterated that millions of people and animals rely directly on forests for their livelihood.