Nigeria’s Role in Combating Illegal Wildlife Trade

by David Okoye

Nigeria serves as a key transit hub and consolidation point for illegal trade in wildlife and forest products, particularly pangolin, ivory, and rosewood. The National Park Service (NPS) stresses the urgency of wildlife conservation efforts to combat this illicit trade threatening various species.

Highlighting the importance of wildlife to humanity’s existence, Ibrahim Goni, the conservator-general, emphasizes the need to preserve biodiversity, especially endangered animals and plants, from extinction. As the 2024 Wildlife Day underscores the imperative of conservation, Goni urges concerted action to safeguard Nigeria’s natural heritage.

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With optimism for the future, Goni looks to young students as potential future policymakers, envisioning their role in addressing climate change and implementing proactive conservation policies. Engaging with the next generation is crucial for fostering a culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability.

Oliver Stolpe, UNODC’s country representative in Nigeria, echoes the importance of preserving and protecting Nigeria’s rich biodiversity. Drawing from key findings of UNODC’s Organised Crime Threat Assessment, Stolpe highlights Nigeria’s role as a hub for illegal wildlife trade, sourcing products such as pangolin, ivory, and rosewood from Nigeria and neighboring countries.

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