Daily Trust (Abuja)

10 January 2013

Nigeria's Biodiversity Not Well Researched - Study

A national biodiversity stocktaking and assessment report for Nigeria prepared by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation has found that the country's biodiversity is not well researched and fully understood.

A copy of the report made available to Daily Trust noted that as result of the gap in research and understanding of the subject matter, data and information on it are sketchy or completely lacking.

"This lack of sufficient information and knowledge about Nigeria's biodiversity has made adequate planning for biodiversity conservation very challenging. It is believed that about 14 per cent of Nigeria's biodiversity is threatened while 2.2 per cent is believed to be endangered," the report noted.

The report noted that the value of the nation's biodiversity has not been quantified and calculated but estimated its worth to be in trillions of dollars.

"Income generated from the direct consumptive and non-consumptive use of biodiversity has remained the only safety net for the majority of rural communities. However, the obvious value is not properly quantified and valued and this has made it difficult to give biodiversity conservation the right placement in national planning and for resources allocation," the report said.

It further said that the country has about 7,895 plant species indentified in 338 families and 22,000 vertebrate and invertebrate species. This species include over 20,000 insects, 1,000 fishes, 274 mammals and 123 reptiles.

The report also found that overuse and poor management of existing resources have created enormous problems and substantial holes in the country's natural resources base.

"Public records at federal and state levels are poor and too often out of date. They are non-existent at the local and community levels, except for the indigenous knowledge of the local land stewards," the report noted.

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