Private sector participation in Nigeria National Parks underway

Friday, 07 February 2014 13:18

Worried by the various challenges  facing the National Park as a result of heavy poaching, habitat degradation, infrastructure decay  as well as managerial and 

 

administrative constraints including weak human and technical capacity and poor funding among others, some nature conservationists and tourist investors have resolved to facilitate private partnership involvement in the Nigerian National Parks . 

 

To kick start the processes that will lead to the Private sector participation in National Parks in Nigeria, a two- day workshop was organized for stakeholders on 5th and 6th of February, 2014 in Lagos.

 

Facilitated by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation with the support of T.Y Holdings, the workshop involved the management of the National Parks, representatives of African Parks and Wilderness Safari and other Nigerian based non-governmental organizations with the aim of: Reviewing  the challenges and opportunities for private sector involvement in National Parks planning, management and development, Identification of best practices and institutional arrangements for private sector participation in National Parks and, developing  action plans for private sector participation in National Parks, using some National Parks as entry points for action. 

 

The sponsor of the two-day workshop, General Theophilus Danjuma (Rtd) in his opening remarks said that his interest is to see how Nigerian national parks will be compared with other park in developed countries in terms of infrastructures, protection and attraction to tourists. It is becoming an urgent thing to do, we must deploy every resources needed and other intervention required to ensure that we maintain and sustain our nation heritages.

 

The President of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Philip Asiodu said, we are all aware of the critical value of national parks in protecting biodiversity, and for education and research. We are becoming aware of the great potentials for eco-tourism of Gashaka Gumti,  Kainji and Cross River National Parks. However, very significant investments are required in order to exploit these potentials and realize the income flows which wisely will improve the welfare of the communities around these parks, and also help in protecting the parks and financing education and research.

 

"Environmental conservation is still abstract to many of the current leaders in all tiers of government. It is even more so amongst the newly emerging groups of moneyed men, who would rather spend on something else than donating to the course of nature conservation. Again, unlike South Africa, there are not yet many private sector companies with the resources and enlightened board policies to commit sufficient funding to conservation".

 

The Conservator-General of Nigeria, Alhaji Haruna Thanko Abubakar said that,  though the Nigerian National Parks are under the exclusive legislative list and managed by the Federal Government through the National Parks Service,  the law governing the National Parks service is open to private sector participation to boost eco-tourism in National Parks.

 

Some of the action plans drawn at the end of the workshop to be implemented between February, 2014 and June 2015  included: the  review of the law establishing  the National Parks Service ensure possibilities of a working relationship between the National Parks Service and potential investors in Gashaka - Gumti, Kainji and  Cross River National Parks, collection of  data and information on the state of the  parks, production of  report  findings, Broad Stakeholders engagement and development of mechanism for funding raising among others. 

 

Read related news in the:
 
The Guardian, Monday, February 10, 2014- Page 49
 
BusinessDay, Tuesday 11 February, 2014- Page 33.

Environmentalists explain how water support economy

Friday, 17 January 2014 13:41

Cross section of participants at the 12th Chief Shafi Lawal Edu Memorial Lecture held in Lagos on Wednesday

Environmentalists have said that except the lack management of water resources in Nigeria is adequately addressed all efforts and progress made on poverty reduction targets and sustainable development will be jeopardized. 

Speaking at the 12th Chief Shafi Lawal Edu Memorial Lecture organized by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation in Lagos, a group of environmentalists decried the way water resources management is being handled by the Government as water affects almost all aspects of the economy, in particular health, food production and security; domestic water supply and sanitation; energy and industry; and environmental sustainability.

Renowned climatology, Professor Olukayode Oladipo who was the guest lecturer at the annual lecture series, in his paper titled "climate resilient water resources management for poverty reduction in Nigeria" said that Water stress is already high in many parts of Nigeria, making improved management critical to ensuring sustainable development.

According to him, water resources underpin our quality of life and our national economy. The sustainability of Nigeria’s economic growth and development will depend, among other things, on what happens to its water resources. Water is a key input to economic growth sectors and contributes to employment, job creation and gross domestic product (GDP), but, as demonstrated above, the sector is highly vulnerable to climate change. 

"Water management can be a catalyst for a pro-poor economic growth, particularly at a local level, where it provides vital inputs into productive activities and creates opportunities for local entrepreneurs in supplying technologies, constructing facilities and providing services. Thus, there is a general consensus that water management has the potential to contribute to all of the MDGs in different ways".

Oladipo stressed that, adaptation to climate change is closely linked to water resources management and its role in sustainable development.

“Various necessary adaptation measures that deal with climate variability and build upon existing land and water management practices have the potential to create resilience to climate change and to enhance water security and thus directly contribute to development. Thus, the imperative for a holistic approach and appropriate funding to tackle the challenge of climate change in the water sector cannot be overemphasized".

Nigeria is not, on the average, a water-stressed country. Despite its enormous water potential, however, water use for agricultural, industrial and domestic consumption in the country has been largely underdeveloped. In this regard, and similar to the oil sector, Nigeria is a country of paradox in which its God-given abundant natural resources (in this case water) are not improving the quality of life of the people because they remain poorly harnessed and managed, he said.

 

The Lecturer called for an improved water management which according to him is critical to ensure sustainable development. This will benefit many aspects of the economy, in particular health, food production and security; domestic water supply and sanitation; energy and industry, whilst also contributing to development goals, climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, particularly floods and drought related disasters for environmental sustainability.

Earlier, the President of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Izoma Philip Asiodu in his opening remarks advocated the need for more attention to the issue of the environment which is being neglected.

 

He called on the governments to implement policies aiming at combating the various environmental challenges; the rate of degradation of the ecology in Nigeria is accelerating. It is therefore necessary to begin to address those factors that will turn this unsavoury situation around, with all the seriousness and commitment that it deserves.

 

GOVERNING COUNCIL

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:54

 

 

Board of Trustees

Izoma Philip Asiodu, CFR, CONPresident

Mr. Akintola Williams, CFR, CBE

Mr. A. P. Leventis, CBE, OFR  

Alhaji Ahmed Mohammed Joda, OFR, CON

Mrs. Francesca Yetunde Emanuel, CON, mni

    

National Executive Council

Chief Ede DafinoneChairman

Prince Adegoke Ademiluyi

Hon. Justice (Mrs.) Bukola Adebiyi

Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi

Chief (Mrs.) Cordelia C. Agboti (JP)

Professor John Godwin, OFR, OBE

Mr. Adekoyejo Edu

Mrs. Adetoun Mohammed

Arc. Kitoye Ibare- Akinsan 

Mrs. Ajoke Murtala Muhammed

Admiral A.O.S Okoja (Rtd)

Mr. Dimeji Salaudeen 

Chief Akin Odunsi

Dr. Adetokunbo Alakija

Dame Marie Fatayi- Williams

Hon. (Mrs.) Adebimpe Akinsola

Mr. Brikinn Esimaje - Representative,Chevron Nigeria Limited .

Mrs. Olufunso Amosun

Mr. Ukpong Edo-Abasi Bassey

Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano -  Director General.