In a bid to support African environmental scientists to continue to play an important role on sustainable natural resource management, training on research writing was organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation for a group of environmental scientists.
The training themed “Developing Research Capacity among African Environmental Scientists” (DRECA), was supported by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Tropical Biology Association. The training which was held at St. Louis Bautain Retreat and Catechetical Centre, Ijebu-Itele, Ogun State, had participants drawn from universities, conservation organizations and research institutions in Nigeria.
The workshop identified lack of fund and poor background of research environment and lack of statistical knowledge as some of the barriers for an effective research works in Africa. Other factors include the absence of workable laboratories, lack of skills to understand social issues, lack of data collection techniques and lack of research communication between Africa and the rest of the world, hence, the need to build the capacity of environmental scientists as solutions to curb the identified challenges.
Speaking at the 5 days training workshop, the coordinator, Mrs. Funmi Tsewinor of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation said that the aims of the training was to equipped young environmental scientists in the areas of proposal writing, research data analysis and skills on how to communicate research findings to large audience.
She added "A lot of times, within the developing contest, degradation is driven by lack of funds or information because research results are not being disseminated to the right audience, thus, the need to build the capacity of environmental scientists. We also realized that strict academic environment does not expose young scientists to conservation projects hence, the need to fill these skill gaps.”
A resource person, for the training workshop Professor Aderopo Akinsoji of Botany Department, University of Lagos, said that the funding that are made available will never be enough for the number of researches to be conducted so, only a few and good research proposals will be accepted and funded by the donors.
"This is why we must develop the skills and capacity of these young scientists to be able to write good research proposals that will attract funding”, Akinsoji said.
"It is very important to disseminate the findings of a research to different fora using different tools. We are happy that these selected trainees are going home with skills on how to get research findings across to the larger audience", said Dr. Babatunde Lawal, Director, Academic Planning, Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education and also another resource person.