The Federal Government has nominated the Nigeria LNG Limited (NLNG) to make Finima Nature Park, a conservation park managed by the company, a Ramsar Site of International Importance.
NLNG’s Manager of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Sophia Horsfall, disclosed this in a statement.
The company, according to the statement, received the Letter of Nomination from the Federal Ministry of Environment on Monday in Rivers State.
The letter was presented to the company by the Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, who was represented by the Director of Forestry, Mr Tiamiyu Sikiru.
Mr Sikiru had visited NLNG’s Plant site and Finima Nature Park on Bonny Island in the company of some officials of the ministry to celebrate the 2020 World Wetlands Day.
While receiving the minister at the NLNG Plant, the NLNG General Manager (External Relations and Sustainability), Mrs Eyono Fatayi-Williams, said the company remains committed to ensuring a sustainable environment that would cater for the younger population and those unborn.
According to her, NLNG fully understands the importance of wetlands as a means to reduce the carbon footprint of the oil and gas industry’s activities in Bonny.
“The philosophy underpinning the Nature Park, which acts as a carbon sink through the CO2 sequestration abilities of the vegetation, also aligns with our contribution to the reduction of gas flaring in the country through our commercialisation of natural gas which would otherwise have been flared,” Fatayi-Williams said.
She, therefore, gave the assurance of NLNG’s commitment to protecting the park and boosting activities to encourage eco-tourism which would impact positively on socio-economic life in Bonny.
The general manager also stated that NLNG places significance on the preservation of plant and animal species found in the wetlands of the park.
During the presentation of the Letter of Nomination, the minister said, “I have endorsed the instrument for designation of Finima Nature Park as a Ramsar Site of International Importance. I want to thank NLNG for establishing Finima Nature Park.
“The park shall be known globally as ‘Finima Nature Park’ and will increase the number of Nigeria’s Ramsar Sites of International Importance to 12.”
Other guests at the presentation include the Chairman of NCF Council, Chief Ede Dafinone; NCF Director-General, Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano; a member of NCF Council and a director in the NLNG Board, Chief (Mrs) Cordelia Agboti, among other NCF officials.
The Letter of Nomination is NLNG’s last requirement for the attainment of Ramsar Site status, having met all the other conditions, including being a haven for migratory birds and a Wetland Education Centre.
A Ramsar Site is a wetland designated to be of international importance under the Ramsar Convention which is an intergovernmental environmental treaty established by UNESCO in 1971.
The Finima Nature Park is managed on behalf of the company by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and was established in 1999 as part of NLNG’s response to global environmental concerns and the need for a more sustainable environment.
On completion of the process, the park would be listed as one of the 2,300 sites in the world.
The park is a 1,000-hectare land of freshwater swamp forest lying along the nation’s southern coastal area on Bonny Island.
It was designated an internationally acclaimed centre for Wetland Education and became a member of Wetlands Link International in 2019.
This made it one of the 350 Wetland Centres globally and the second in Nigeria.
NLNG is owned by four shareholders – the Federal Government of Nigeria, represented by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) – 49 per cent, Shell Gas B.V. – 25.6 per cent, Total Gaz Electricite Holdings France – 15 per cent, and Eni International N.A. N. V. S.àr. l – 10.4 per cent.