The Lagos State Government has called for the conservation of wetlands resources in the State, saying that wetlands as critical parts of natural environment help in reducing the impacts of floods, absorbing the pollutant and improving water quality.
Making this call was the Commissioner for the Environment, Babatunde Durosinmi-Etti during his interaction with pressmen in Alausa at the weekend in commemoration of the 2018 World Wetlands Day.
He said that the State seized the opportunity of World Wetlands Day to sensitise Lagosians on the importance of wetlands and called for more community participation in wetlands management in the State.
He maintained that Wetlands were vital for human survival as they were one of the world’s most productive environments, serving as cradles of biological diversity that provide water and engender the sustenance and survival of countless species of plants and animals.
“Wetlands are a critical part of our natural environment. They protect our shores from wave action; reduce the impacts of floods, absorb pollutants and improve water quality. They also provide habitat for living organisms”, he stressed.
He informed that wetlands are blessings to the communities where they existed because they serve as sources of water, food, medicine, handcrafts and shelter, adding that they provide an abode for cultural, recreational and tourist activities.
The Commissioner maintained that in spite of the vital roles of wetlands, these crucial resources are faced with many threats from human activities as they are the most threatened ecosystems globally, noting that “Over 95% of wetlands in the State had been lost to housing development, thereby underlining the need to protect the remaining wetlands,” he stated.
To stem this development, the Environment Commissioner hinted that the State Government would step up its monitoring and advocacy programme and ensure stakeholders collaboration for the protection of our wetlands resources.
He urged Lagosians to desist from dumping refuse or using wastes to reclaim wetlands, adding that wetlands must be preserved as buffer-zones which protect the built environment from flooding.