Invest in Ecotourism, Experts Charge FG

The importance of Ecotourism, as a veritable tool in the development of the nation’s economy has been stressed.
Environmental Resources Management experts made this observation at the just concluded Environmental Management Conference with the theme, Managing Coastal and Wetland Areas of Nigeria.
According to the experts, the socio-economic sector of the country would be better off if ecotourism is given the place of pride that it desires.
Participants, in a communiqué jointly signed by the Chairman, Local Organising Committee, Professor Olasumbo Martins of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) and Chairman, Technical Sub-Committee, Dr. E. A. Meshida of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) respectively, charged the Federal Government and other stakeholders, to ensure that Ecotourism is placed in the front burner of their activities with a view to boosting the country’s economy.
The Communiqué also recommended that environmental and urban developers should be called upon to make use of appropriate maps in the development of projects on fragile environment, to prevent natural disasters.
The Communiqué further enjoined government to be proactive by providing adequate number of seismic monitoring and hydrometeorological stations for the monitoring and forecasting of natural disasters while advocating for the enforcement of environmental policies to curb the dumping of solid wastes and discharge of industrial effluents into the natural ecosystem.
The experts also emphasized the need to control the increasing encroachment of farming and building activities around the wetland to avoid soil erosion, removal of vegetation and degradation of the ecosystem.
The group advised on the development of a mandatory localized sustainable reporting framework for deforestation and land degradation as it affects oil and gas exploitation in line with international best practices.
The Communique noted that the high degree of surface water and shallow groundwater pollution calls for the immediate attention of government to reduce the risk of unavailability of surface water in the nearest future while recommending proper information dissemination and development of manpower in the field of water resources.

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