The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), in partnership with its BirdLife International partner in UK, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSBP), has established a multi-stakeholder committee to address the alarming declines of migratory landbirds in Nigeria.
The committee named "Nigerian National Committee on Migratory Landbirds" comprises representatives of Federal Ministry of Environment, A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute, National Park Service, Nigerian Conservation Foundation and Leventis Foundation and is chaired by Dr. Elizabeth Ehi-Ebewele, a Director in the Federal Ministry of Environment.
The committee will develop strategy and action plans towards the conservation of migratory landbirds in Nigeria through sustainable management of agricultural and natural resources, promoting policy solutions to relevant Ministries, State, Local Governments or Communities on issues concerning migratory landbirds, identifying research needs relating to migratory landbirds and supporting public awareness on migratory landbirds among others.
At its first meeting held in Abuja, the committee pledged to work to reverse the decline in this group of birds by working with government and conservation experts around public awareness and education, policy advocacy and scientific research. “I believe this committee is a very timely intervention that will significantly support the conservation of these special birds, and will also support thriving and sustainable rural communities.” said, Dr. Elizabeth Ehi-Ebewele, the Chairperson of the committee.
It should be noted that the Nigerian Conservation Foundation has implemented similar actions through its Living on the Edge Project carried out in the Hadejia Nguru Wetlands with the aim of improving the living conditions of communities around the wetlands, while improving the habitats for migratory landbirds. The project executed typha clearance to enhance inflow of flood water for economic activities and improve habitats for water birds and migratory landbirds.
The need to establish a National Committee on Migratory Landbirds in Nigeria is a follow up on the adoption of the African Eurasian Migratory Landbirds Action Plan by the Convention on Migratory Species – to which Nigeria is a party – in 2014. The Action Plan was adopted on the basis of compelling scientific evidence of widespread declines of African-Eurasian migratory landbirds in recent decades. Nigeria is one of the first countries to have taken action to address the declines in migratory landbirds, and hopes to lead the way through this committee.
Members of the National Committee on Migratory Landbirds
· Dr. Elizabeth Ehi-Ebewele (Chairperson), Federal Ministry of Environment
· Mr. Stephen M. Awoyemi (Secretary), Nigerian Conservation Foundation
· Dr. Shiiwua Manu, AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute
· Dr. Joseph Onoja , Nigerian Conservation Foundation
· Dr. Hope Ovie Usieta, Leventis Foundation
· Dr. Samuel Tertese Ivande, AP Leventis Ornithological Research Institute
· Mr. Jonah C. Moses, National Park Service
· Mr. Abdumalik Ozigis, Federal Ministry of Environment