Strengthening Wildlife Conservation: Government’s Digital Innovation Commitment Reaffirmed

Strengthening Wildlife Conservation: Government's Digital Innovation Commitment Reaffirmed

The commitment of the Federal Government to wildlife conservation has been restated, focusing on utilizing digital innovation to bridge the gap between humanity and nature. This assertion was made by the Minister of Environment, Balarabe Abbas Lawal, during his keynote address at the 2024 World Wildlife Day event organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The event’s theme was ‘Connecting People and Planet: Exploring Digital Innovation in Wildlife Conservation,’ which took place on Tuesday in Abuja.

Minister Balarabe emphasized the significant opportunities technological advancements present in enhancing conservation efforts and fostering deeper connections between humans and the natural world. He underlined the importance of collaboration among stakeholders to combat wildlife trafficking in Nigeria, acknowledging the challenges wildlife populations face.


“In commemorating World Wildlife Day, it is imperative to recognize the crucial role of digital solutions in addressing various challenges confronting our planet’s ecosystems, including illegal wildlife trade, habitat loss, and the impacts of climate change,” said Balarabe. “Through innovative solutions, we can not only bolster our capacity to protect endangered species but also promote greater connectivity between people and their environment. Digital conservation knows no geographical boundaries, facilitating global collaboration and knowledge sharing among scientists, conservationists, and communities worldwide. By harnessing the collective power of technology, we can unite in our endeavors to preserve biodiversity and ensure a sustainable future for generations to come.”

He urged everyone to reaffirm their commitments to leveraging digital innovation for conservation efforts, emphasizing the interconnectedness of humanity and nature. Balarabe stressed the need for collective action to safeguard the well-being of the natural world.


Oliver Stolpe, the Country Representative for UNODC in Nigeria, echoed these sentiments, calling on the Federal Government to reignite Nigerians’ love of nature. He emphasized that fostering a deeper appreciation for nature would lead to more sustainable solutions in combating wildlife trafficking and preserving biodiversity.

“We are pleased to present the findings and recommendations from the ICCWC Toolkit Assessment for Nigeria, conducted by UNODC in collaboration with relevant Nigerian authorities,” Stolpe stated. “This assessment evaluates the effectiveness of the legal and regulatory framework, as well as the institutional capacities for combating wildlife and forest crimes. It will provide valuable insights and technical recommendations to strengthen the response to these crimes. However, laws and enforcement alone cannot solve the issue unless we instill a love for nature in our society. This requires concerted efforts from government, religious and traditional institutions, civil society organizations, schools, the media, the entertainment industry, and international development partners to influence the hearts and minds of people, especially the younger generation.”

In conclusion, the call for leveraging digital innovation and fostering a deeper connection between humanity and nature underscores the importance of collective action in conservation efforts. By embracing technological advancements and promoting environmental stewardship, we can work towards a sustainable future for our planet and all its inhabitants.


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