In a bid to address the environmental degradation caused by prolonged oil and gas exploitation in the Niger Delta, the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) has initiated a training program on ecological monitoring for the inhabitants of Kono and Dic Fiberesima-Ama communities in Rivers State. These regions are home to crucial ecosystems such as estuaries and mangrove forests.
The objective of the training was to empower communities with effective monitoring methods and educate them on the importance of establishing locally-managed marine protected areas. This initiative would help rejuvenate the livelihoods of local fishers and other community members.
During the training, HOMEF’s Executive Director, Nnimmo Bassey, urged the attendees to embrace their roles as eco-defenders and diligent monitors. He emphasized that their direct involvement and understanding of their territories made them the best defenders of their environment.
Bassey cited Kono community in Khana Local Government Area as a prime example of successful local ecological protection, where cultural norms have been used to establish a mangrove and Marine Protected Area (MPA). He urged other Niger Delta communities to emulate this model.
Chief Monday Anson Nwige, the paramount ruler of Kono, called on his community to remain vigilant and continue their environmental protection efforts. He appreciated HOMEF for bringing this educational initiative to his community.
Stephen Oduware, the Programme Manager and project lead for the Fossil Politics desk, stressed during the training that communities’ well-being is intrinsically linked to their ecosystems, and therefore, they should be at the forefront of its protection.
SOURCE: Nigerian Tribune
IMAGE: African Mining Brief