The Nigerian Fifth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is based on the stocktaking and assessment carried out as part of the on-going National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) revision process. The Nigerian NBSAP is being revised in line with the strategic plan for biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi targets. This is supported by UNEP. At the inception, the Federal Ministry of Environment engaged the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) to undertake the rapid stocktaking and assessment. The report of the assessment was validated by multi-stakeholders including other NGOs, civil society organizations and indigenous and local communities. The NBSAP revision process got stocked at the commencement of the preparation of the second and third components: the National Biodiversity Strategy: Principles, Priorities and Targets; and National Action Plan due to lack of funds. This report will therefore hardly satisfy all the expectations of the Convention for it. Nevertheless, the achieved outcome laid a very good foundation upon which the rest of the revision process could build. 

This report gave information on status of biodiversity and the contribution it has to varied sectors of Nigerian economy including tourism, agriculture, water resources, health, commerce and industrial development. It showed how biodiversity impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the people as well. 

The value of biodiversity to Nigerians and the linkages it has on various sectors of the Nigerian economy was vividly shown and emphasis was thereafter laid on the need for its integration into national planning and strategies for sustainable development.

The threats to biodiversity in Nigeria were outlined and analysed. A current biodiversity species statistics was given. 

The report identified that the principles for the strategy in the Nigerian NBSAP could be based on the need to manage the biodiversity of Nigeria in the five priority ecological areas of:

(i) Arid zone;

(ii) Guinea Savanna woodlands; 

(iii) Coastal and Marine  Ecosystems;

(iv) Rainforest belt including montane forests; and 

(v) Wetlands and River basins. 

Also identified were priority areas for action in Nigeria to be:

(i) National Parks as Nigeria’s reservoir of biodiversity;

(ii) The Niger Delta;

(iii) Major inland lakes and wetlands; (creation of a platform for Biodiversity Sensitivity Index to protect major watersheds and important wetlands)

(iv) Gallery forests  and wildlife corridors;

(v) Peri-Urban Forests; and

(vi) Marine and coastal estuaries.

Areas (sectors) identified for mainstreaming NBSAP in Nigeria included:

(i) Water resources policy and actions;

(ii) Agriculture policy and actions;

(iii) Science and Technology policy; 

(iv) Biosafety and genetic biodiversity protection;

(v) Coastal and marine resource management;

(vi) Arid land management policy and actions;

(vii) Transportation, maritime and aviation; and

(viii) Urban Planning and development

The points of entry in mainstreaming the various sectors were identified as:

AGRICULTURE:

(i) Conversion of protected forest estates to agricultural farms;

(ii) Agricultural expansion (i.e. Continuous clearing of new lands);

(iii) Slash-and-burn farming practice;

(iv) Overgrazing by livestock and overfishing by artisanal fishermen;

(v) Unsustainable use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers;

(vi) Agricultural policy, which although highlighted the need to promote enabling environment for agricultural production and processing, did not provide principles for promoting such enabling environment (i.e. issues as land use, soil conservation and principles for management of agricultural inputs for environmental management purposes). The Policy recognized and adapted some sections of the Nigerian Environmental policy as an element of the policy document and agreed totally that the integration of environmental management to agricultural production and development in Nigeria was very weak.

WATER RESOURCES POLICY AND ACTIONS: 

(i) The design, development and management of Dams (Proper Environmental Impact Assessment to address major biodiversity issues such as location of protected areas, Important Bird Areas, endangered species, heritage sites etc.);

(ii) In inland lakes management (to address degradation especially in Lake Chad and arrest loss of bio-resources and agricultural potentials);

COASTAL AND MARINE RESOURCE MANAGEMENT:

(i) The outcomes of the Gulf of Guinea Large Marine Ecosystem Project and the Niger Delta Environmental Survey;

(ii) The Gulf of Guinea Large Marine Ecosystem carried out ecosystem assessment and developed strategic action plan that were aimed at assisting countries in the Gulf of Guinea marine ecosystem to manage coastal resources in a more sustainable manner;

(iii) The Niger Delta Environmental Survey documented the biodiversity and habitat characteristics of the Niger Delta and also touched on wetland values in relation to socio-economic development; 

(iv) After over ten years, the Niger Delta is considered inappropriate to provide up-to-date information on the current status of biodiversity and its challenges in the Niger Delta, thus the urgent need for a follow up survey on the current realities and challenges of biodiversity conservation;

(v) The huge Coastal and Marine resources of Nigeria and the need to establish a Marine National Park as part of her network of National Parks under category 11 of the IUCN;

(vi) The need to establish a Marine Park is paramount in order to ensure that the ecosystems in Nigeria are fully represented in the network of nationally protected areas in Nigeria.

TRANSPORTATION, MARITIME AND AVIATION:

(i) Management of bird species and populations in and around the Airports, where aircrafts take-off and land is crucial for security of air transport users. Aircrafts may suffer bird strikes. Understanding the role of biodiversity in the aviation industry therefore is an essential aspect that should be noted in National Policy on safety in aviation.

URBAN PLANNING AND DEVELOPMENT:

(i) Pollution through the production of toxic chemicals and liquid and solid wastes;

(ii) Pollution through emissions from vehicles and industrial processes;

(i) Urban development is carried out with little or no consideration for biodiversity and habitat protection or management.

ARID LAND MANAGEMENT POLICY AND ACTIONS:

(i) The Desertification which is spreading fast in the northwest and north eastern parts of Nigeria;

(ii) The Biodiversity in arid land which is crucial for food, fibre and livelihoods is being degraded;

(iii) The Arid Land Management Policy should support Biodiversity principles and policies to address the threats to natural resources in the arid areas.

It addressed synergies with NBSAP of the various Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) e.g. Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS), Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance and Agreement on the conservation of Africa-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) to ensure that the priorities of MEAs are reflected in the NBSAP.