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Africa: World Environmental Day - Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic On Biodiversity in Focus

With all countries in Africa, Nigeria inclusive, battling COVID-19, "human interaction with the ecosystem must remain balanced, otherwise we will risk disrupting nature which have consequences as we are seeing in the COVID-19 pandemic", says Minister of Environment Dr Mohammad Abubakar.

Speaking at a Press briefing in Abuja on 04 June 2020 to commemorate World Environment Day 2020 organized by the Federal Ministry of Environment (FMENV), the minister said," biodiversity is the foundation for life with co-benefits of strengthening global healthcare support systems, hence we must ensure that Post COVID recovery is tied in with our Climate actions and Sustainable Development Goals."

Recent occurrences, like the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrate the interrelationship between the environment and human health as well as the need to strengthen eessential environmental health services, knowledge and national capacities fundamental for achieving universal health coverage.

In her remarks during the event, Dr Fiona Braka the WHO Nigeria Officer In-Charge, represented at the event by Dr Edwin Isotu Edeh, WHO Nigeria National Consultant, Public Health and Environment, commended the Ministry of Environment at federal and state levels for continuing to be a strong response partner to the ongoing all-of- government one- health COVID-19 outbreak response, especially for taking charge of disinfection of premises/assets, decontamination of health facilities, safe burial practices and other priority interventions.

As part of the steps towards refocusing on environment issues in the COVID-19 epidemic response in Nigeria, FMENV has set up a National Forestry Trust Fund under the forestry Department of the Ministry in partnership with the Nigerian Conservation Foundation and the World Wildlife Foundation (WFF).

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