The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and some conservationists have called for the eradication of light pollution to conserve migratory birds.
This is contained in a statement issued by the NCF on Wednesday at the end of an event hosted to mark the World Migratory Bird Day in Lagos.
The Tide source reports that the statement was signed by the NCF Head of Communications, Mr Oladapo Soneye.
The World Migratory Bird Day is an annual event used to raise awareness on bird migration and the importance of protecting the flyways and habitats utilised by birds during this seasonal experience.
Bird migration is the regular seasonal movement, often north and south along a flyway, between breeding and wintering grounds. Many species of bird migrate.
Light pollution is a significant and growing threat to wildlife including many species of migratory birds.
Every year, light pollution contributes to the death of millions of birds. It alters the natural patterns of light and dark in ecosystems. It can change birds migration patterns, foraging behaviours, and vocal communication.
The statement quoted the Director-General of NCF, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, as saying that Nigerians should participate jointly in bird conservation by eradicating light pollution.
Aminu-Kano expressed concern on the challenges the birds were facing, especially migratory birds challenges, such as, but not limited to loss of habitat, persecution, famine and pollution.
He said that this year’s theme: “Light Pollution: Dim the light for birds at night,” was a clarion call to action for all to jointly participate in bird conservation.
According to him, research shows that birds do have accident flying at night because of illumination from cities.
“When we switch off light bulbs that are not so useful, we help to reduce the chances of the birds having head-on-collision with buildings, trees, and other infrastructures,” Aminu-Kano said.
Dr Soladoye Iwajomo, Senior Lecturer, Department of Zoology, University of Lagos, defined light pollution as the introduction of artificial light, either directly or indirectly, into the natural environment.
Iwajomo said that light pollution results in the alteration of the natural pattern of light and dark in ecosystems.
According to him, light pollution is often caused by the way the light is emitted from lighting equipment.
He said that choosing proper equipment and carefully mounting and aiming would make a significant difference.
Also speaking, Mr Abdulmalik Ogizi, who represented the Federal Ministry of Environment, said that migratory birds fly hundreds of thousand kilometres to find the best ecological conditions and habitats for feeding, breeding, and raising their young ones.
“When conditions at breeding sites become unfavourable, it is time to fly to regions where conditions are better.
“The phenomenon is accompanied by several anthropogenic, political, and environmental challenges on the migratory bird’s survival and conservation,” Ogizi said.
He said that the 2022 campaign highlights the impacts of the increasing but underestimated threat of light pollution on migratory birds.
Ogizi noted that artificial light was increasing globally by at least two per cent per year with adverse effect on bird species.
He said that light pollution was a significant threat to migratory birds, causing disorientation when they fly at night, leading to collisions with buildings, increasing their vulnerability as prey to other animals perturbing their internal clocks, or interfering with their ability to undertake long distance migrations.
The NCF’s Species Programme Lead, Dr Stella Egbe, said that, the world comes together to celebrate and raise awareness on the beauty and threats of migratory birds twice every year.
Egbe described migration as the seasonal movements of birds between their breeding and wintering sites.
She said that the seasonal activity is an important event that ensures the survival of lots of bird species.
“Every year, ornithologists, and conservation biologists study birds in all types of environments globally, monitoring their numbers and diversity.
“In recent years, it has been observed that species are declining rapidly, driving species to the brink of extinction.
“From habitat loss, indiscriminate killing and trade in birds, plastic pollution, birds are increasingly exposed to factors within the environment that they have not adapted to.
“It has been discovered that some adult birds are being harvested, which will prevent reproduction.
This will cause general decline in the population of birds,” Egbe said.
Strike: We’re Waiting For Govt’s Reply To Our Presentation — ASUU
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said it was waiting for the Federal Government to respond to its presentation, so it could determine whether to call off the over four months strike its members embarked on to press home their demands.
According to the union, calling off the strike soon rests squarely on government responding to its presentation made through a committee set up by the government to negotiate with it.
Checks by newsmen, last Friday, showed that the national leadership of ASUU had made its presentation to the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee set up to renegotiate the 2009 agreement signed by the two sides.
Speaking in a telephone chat with The Tide Newspaper, National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said his union had done its best in the circumstance.
“We have made our presentation to the committee and there is nothing more to add,” Osodeke said.
On when the feedback was expected from government, he said: “They promised to get back to us within a short time.”
Though he did not say anything about what the union’s presentation contained, it was gathered that the union could give the government more time to meet some demands that had financial implications.
When contacted, Briggs said his committee had met with ASUU and had done its assignment.
“We have met and ASUU have made their presentation. Some people sent me on an errand and I have to report to them. The committee is not the final authority on this matter. We are not the ones to determine what will be done,” he stated.
It would be recalled that ASUU went on a four-week warning strike on February 14 this year and had extended the strike twice, first, by eight weeks and second, by 12 weeks.
Lagos Solicit Stronger Partnership For Equitable Education
The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has stated that collective committment and political will of government is required to advance quality and equitable education in the State.
The Governor who stated that the ultimate aim of government is to ensure all students in Lagos State receive quality education in a conducive environment confirmed that his administration paid 1.1billion for WAEC students in 2022 as it continue to ensure yearly increment in budgetary allocation for the sector.
The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat at the Y2022 Equal Summit held at Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island stated that the past three years has witnessed tremendous improvement in the overall value chain of the education ecosystem.
His words, “Our model of investment is informed by the desire to entrench 21st century technology into the sector. This huge investment will ultimately result in significant improvement in learning outcomes’’.
Expressing the desire of the state government in taking the education sector into an enviable height, Sanwo-Olu said the education summit is an opportunity to present the education score card and inform Stakeholders of the government’s future plans and needs of the industry.
He said the initiative organised by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with the Office of Sustainable Development Goals and Investment will continue to open up opportunities for public private partnership interventions and mutually beneficial investments.
According to him: “Our administration also seeks to recognise and appreciate the tremendous contribution and donations of various private partners who supported the State Government’s Education Transformation Plan, most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown of schools.
Group Gives WAEC Scholarships To 35 Indigent Students In Imo
The Old Peers of Owerri Development Initiative, a non-governmental organisation based in Abuja, Saturday awarded WAEC scholarships to 35 indigent students from seven schools in the Owerri Municipal Council of Imo.
The award is the second edition following the maiden project in 2021.
Presenting the scholarships in Owerri, the Interim National President of the organisation, Dr Nina Nwulu, urged the beneficiaries to show determination in succeeding in life.
“Under no circumstance should you joke with your education or indulge in drugs.
“The mentality that education is a scam should be jettisoned because in Nigeria, your certificate counts,” she said.
Nwulu, who described education as the “hallmark to every development,” urged the Federal Government to do the needful in resolving its impasse with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“The issue is not about salary but about the government putting in place all the infrastructure that would make reading and learning conducive for students.
“We want our students to be exposed to every facility needed to learn properly; the lecturers are equally going through hell in terms of their packages.
“If politicians taught by teachers can be comfortable, why not the teachers,” Nwulu, a senior lecturer at the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO), asked.
The Coordinator of the organisation, Mr Jasper Opara, said the body aimed to assist the beneficiaries fulfill their academic pursuit.
According to him, if the students miss it at this stage of their major examination, they can lose it from there.
Opara, who explained that 25 students were sponsored in 2021, expressed delight that most of them performed excellently in the WAEC examinations.
He explained that the organisation, with different chapters in seven states and some countries, was made up of people from different tribes, who grew up and schooled in Owerri.
Also, the Secretary of the organisation, Mrs Olaedo Ike-Godson, said the body was passionate about helping government and doing charitable work, literacy, health programs, economic empowerment and sanitation.
One of the beneficiaries, Franklin Igwe from Emmanuel College, commended the organisation for the gesture.
“It will spur me to focus more on education so that when I grow up, I will be able to sponsor those around me,” another beneficiary, Miss Precious Onyemuche, said. (NAN)
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