World Wildlife Day 2022: Bamenda based Environmentalist concerned about safety of key species

By Bakah Derick 

A Bamenda based Environmentalist has expressed concerns over the safety of what he calls Key Species of wildlife in the North West Region of Cameroon. In an exchange with within the context of the World Wildlife Day (WWD) 2022, Kari Jackson was categorical that human activities are becoming a serious threat to these key species.
Kari Jackson at his SURUDEV office Ghana Street Nkwen

"All of us who exist in this highlands ecological zone, if all of our efforts are put together to carryout restoration activities and recovery of these species, I think our strength will still not be enough. We need to live a life that does not compromise the habits of the next generation. Our livelihood begins from the forest, it begins from the environment before we can be able to put food on the table and go about our activities. Wildlife is primordial for us to live. I want to draw your attention to the fact that if one specie of bee or all the bees are ravaged away from the wild, life will not be the same again and you stand not to breath the next day. We have to mend our efforts to ensure that when we fell a tree we plant five." 
#WWD2022 observance material by SURUDEV 

He emphasised that continues loss of species, habitats and ecosystems also threatens all life on Earth, including humans  adding that  people everywhere rely on wildlife and biodiversity-based resources to meet all our needs, from food, to fuel, medicines, housing, and clothing. Millions of people also rely on nature as the source of their livelihoods and economic opportunities. He discourages activities like the slash and burn that lead to uncontrollable bushfires as common activity now in his region. 

Citing the Bannerman's Turaco, a bird species found in the Bamenda highlands, Kari Jackson who is also  founder of the nongovernmental organisation Sustainable Run for Development (SURUDEV), indicated the need for those engaging in hunting, farming or other cultural activities to contribute in conserving these birds. 

"We need to walk the talk and put all of these into practice and this involves everyone. The laws are there but need enforcement and that is why when we are on the field we ensure that the laws are understood given that ignorance of the law is a crime. Many of them don't know. We use many tools like the IUC and red list tool of species which classify species indicating those that can be hunted and those that are not to be hunted like the Bannerman's Turaco and Cameroon-Nigeria Chimpanzees being flagship species listed in class A. It is our duty conserve them."  Kari noted 
The environmentalist raised concerns about the effective enforcement of various legal frameworks put in place to ensure conservation. According to him more needs to be done in collaboration with the population. 

Adopted on 20 December 2013, at its 68th session, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) proclaimed 3 March – the day of signature of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) in 1973 – as UN World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness of the world’s wild animals and plants. 
World Wildlife Day (WWD) 2022 has been  celebrated  under the theme “Recovering key species for ecosystem restoration”. The celebrations according to the UN seeks "to draw attention to the conservation status of some of the most critically endangered species of wild fauna and flora, and to drive discussions towards imagining and implementing solutions to conserve them." 

Linked to UN Sustainable Development Goals 1 (No Poverty), 2 (Zero hunger) 12 (Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), 13 (Climate Action) 14 (Life Below Water) and 15 (Life on Land), the World Ildlife day is considered one of the important international observances instituted by the global body.  

According to data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species, "over 8,400 species of wild fauna and flora are critically endangered, while close to 30,000 more are understood to be endangered or vulnerable. Based on these estimates, it is suggested that over a million species are threatened with extinction." 

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