NCF holds its annual Chief S.L. Edu Memorial Lecture on Thursday, 16th January, 2020 at Bankers House, Victoria Island, Lagos.


Now in its 18th edition, a lecture on this year’s theme “The role of Traditional Leaders in Protecting and Restoring the Nigerian Environment” will be delivered by His Eminence, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar CFR, mni, the Sultan of Sokoto.


Chief S.L. Edu Memorial Lecture is an annual event organised by NCF in collaboration with the family of Chief S.L. Edu and supported by Chevron Nigeria Limited. The lecture series aims at bringing environmental issues to the front burner of national discourse while articulating solutions through speakers from diverse backgrounds. 


The event equally serves to award scholarship grants to two PhD students whose research are in the field of environmental sciences in any Nigerian universities. The grant is sponsored by Chevron Nigeria Limited and seek to promote research works in nature conservation, biodiversity preservation, environmental management and sustainable livelihood.


Some of the topics and guest speakers in its 17-year history include: A Quiet Revolution: Faith and the Environment – Mr. Martin Palmer, Alliance for Religions & Conservation, UK; Environmental Management: Imperatives in Africa’s Sustainable Development – Prof. Charles Okidi, University of Kenya; Environmental Policy and Performance: a Sustainable Development Agenda for Nigeria – Chief (Dr.) Ernest Shonekan, former Head of Interim Government in Nigeria; Decline of Vultures: Consequences of Human Health and the Economy” - Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations (former Minister of Environment, Nigeria). 


In attendance will be Lagos State Governor – Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Chief Philip Asiodu, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Alhaji Ahmed Joda, Erelu Abiola Dosunmu, traditional rulers, business executives, community leaders, members of CSOs and the academia, amongst others.


Nigerian Conservation Foundation is the foremost environmental conservation NGO with projects spread across the country that focus on the Foundation’s priority areas such as biodiversity conservation, environmental education, policy advocacy and improvement of livelihood of communities.


The S.L. Edu Memorial lecture is opened to the members of the public.









The Minister of State for the Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, announced that Finima Nature Park will be known globally as a Ramsar Site of International importance.


The Minister who was represented by Mr. Sikiru Oladele Tiamiyu, Director of Forestry, Federal Ministry of Environment made this known as Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in collaboration with Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) commemorated the 2020 World Wetlands Day (WWD) in Bonny Island, River State on Monday, 3rd February, 2020.


She said, “I am deeply honoured to inform you that the Honourable Minister of Environment has endorsed the instrument for designation of Finima Nature Park as Ramsar Site of International Importance.”


This endorsement will make Finima Nature Park the 12th Ramsar Site in Nigeria and 3rd in the Niger Delta.


This year’s theme “Wetlands and Biodiversity”, was used to highlight the need to protect wetlands and biodiversity they inhabit. Estimates show that biodiversity is declining globally, with wetlands disappearing three times faster than forests. Consequently, this year underlines the need to protect wetlands biodiversity and urgently address its loss.


In her welcome address, Mrs. Eyono Fatai-Williams, General Manager, External Relations & Sustainable Development, NLNG explains that the company earnestly identifies with the global aspiration to promote a healthy ecosystem where humans and other living things can co-exist with our operations. This sinks into the vision of NCF of ‘where people prosper while living in harmony with nature.’


She stated further that Finima Nature Park, 1000 hectares in size was established in 1999 as a good representation of the Niger Delta ecology, for conservation, recreational activities, research and study purposes.


She said, “Beyond being home to numerous wildlife species including dwarf crocodiles, troops of the Mona Monkey, African Fish Eagles and African Grey parrots, to mention a few; the Nature Park is part of company’s  contribution to national and global conservation goals in line with Rio Agenda 21, Ramsar Convention, and Convention on Biological Diversity”


In his speech, Chief Ede Dafinone, Chairman, NCF National Executive Council, revealed that Nigeria’s wetlands are important to the wellbeing of the people and the environment. They provide critical safeguards from natural disasters including droughts and floods, in addition to providing a home to an array of biodiversity. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of wetlands, and how the decline of wetlands and biodiversity can be addressed. Nigeria has numerous wetlands, including the Niger Delta, which is Africa’s largest wetland. These wetlands are important for water supply, agriculture and recreation and other ecosystem services. However, in recent times, these wetlands have come under intense pressure due to human activities. 


In his speech, Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF, said that NCF is commemorating WWD at many centres by creating awareness among the community people, school pupils and other stakeholders. 


He added that the government and the people are not attaching much importance to wetlands again and we are fast losing them to unsustainable developments in the form of housing and infrastructure. This is revealed in the way they sand fill wetlands areas. He said, “Instead of us leaving wetlands to perform its ecological, economic and hydrological functions, we are channelling, canalising and damming all the available wetlands around”. He reiterated that wetlands are not waste lands but wealth lands.


Meanwhile, in his speech, Mr. Goke Korede, Manager of Operations, NLNG, stated that Industry records show that our operations have helped reduce the nation’s flare status from 65% when we started operations in 1999 to less than 20% today. This is a huge contribution towards ensuring a healthy environment in the Niger Delta region, the nation and world at large. Today, the Finima Nature Park stands not only as a natural habitat to some of the exceptional flora and fauna that are endemic only to Bonny Island; but also as an ecotourism hotspot with over 23,000 visitors to the park in 2019.

The commemoration continued with a tour of the park being led by the Project Manager of the Park, Mr. Gogo Brown, accompanied by other tour guides to give nature interpretation as they journey along. 


A huge whale bone was sighted and other animal species being conserved. The event ended with tree planting exercise within the park. The species planted was Cleistopholis patens, commonly called salt and oil tree. 



Finima Nature Park (FNP) is a 1000 hectares swamp forest area managed on behalf of NLNG by Nigerian Conservation Foundation in the last one decade. In 2019, NCF profiled the Nature Park towards State and international recognition- as the only Rivers State Natural Conservation Environment and International Wetlands of Education Centre by Wetlands Link International respectively. 


Also in attendance were Chief (Mrs.) Cordelia Agboti, NCF Council Member; Dr. Joseph Onoja, NCF Director of Technical Programmes; Mr. Solomon Adefolu, FNP Project Coordinator; Mr. Ogheneochuko Odibo, Special Assistant to the Minister of State; Mrs. Sikeade Egbuwalo, CBD National Focal Point; Professor Sodienye Abere, Brand Ambassador of Finima Nature Park; Mrs. Eucharia Ezeani, General Manager, Human Resources, NLNG; Mr. Gbenga Oluwaniyi, General Manager, Finance; Comrade Jude Ozenua, PENGASSAN Chairman, NLNG Chapter among others.





Lagos State Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources commemorated the International Day of Biodiversity (IDB) with the theme “Our Solutions are in Nature” through a webinar on Thursday, 28th May, 2020.


The International Day for Biological Diversity is celebrated each year to raise global awareness about the importance of protecting biological resources and the global biodiversity that shapes our environment, not only the various species of plants, animals and microorganisms around us, but also the genetic diversity of each of them, as well as the great variety of ecosystems that make up our planet.


Speaking at the conference on “Conserving Wetlands For Sustainable Urban Livelihood”, Mr. Adedamola Ogunsesan, Project Manager, Lekki Conservation Centre said that wetlands provide a diversity of ecosystem services; provisioning, regulatory, supporting and cultural services which are essential for the human society. This is particularly necessary in cases where large urban agglomerations exist.


He revealed further that wetlands are areas of marsh, fen, peatland or water, whether natural or artificial, permanent or temporary, with water that is static or flowing, fresh, brackish or salt-water, including areas of marine within the depth no more than six(6) meters at low tide.


He portrayed wetlands as a source with the capability of providing humans with freshwater, ensure food supply, sustain biodiversity, protect against flooding, and store carbondioxide. Wetlands remain a major source of employment globally, they are also ideally placed to showcase truly sustainable livelihoods.


He said “Wetlands provide many ecosystem services. However, many of the services are not traded in regular economic markets, and thus have no observable prices. This fact contributes to the continued degradation of many wetlands and natural sites around the state. Moreover, competition for land uses and the societal demands for urbanization and development have exacerbated the pressures on wetlands”


In her presentation on “The Role Of Nature In Ecosystem Sustainability”, Dr. Fisayo Jerome, Fisheries Resources Department, Marine Biology Section, Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) defined nature as a phenomenon of the natural world, things that are not made by human, examples include air, water, animal, and weather and so on. While Ecosystem is defined as a biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment. Examples of the ecosystem are; Aquatic (Marine and Fresh), Terrestrial (Desert, Savanna and Forest) and Human etc. She sees Sustainability as the study of how natural systems function, remain diverse and produce everything it needs for the ecology to remain in balance.


She highlighted the importance of nature and ecosystem as the provision of habitat to wild plants and animals; supporting different food chains and food webs; regulating essential ecological processes and support lives; and involving in the recycling of nutrients between biotic and abiotic components.


She said further that “Nature sustain the integrity of the ecosystem by maintaining ecological processes and a diverse community of organisms. For example, protect the water, reduce logging and reduce chlorofluorocarbon”.


She, however, identified some factors affecting the integrity of the ecosystems as loss of biodiversity, climate change, deforestation and habitat loss, overexploitation, invasive species and pollution.


Mr. Ogunsesan invited stakeholders to collaborate with the Lagos State Government to provide the following solutions: inventory and documentation of wetlands resources; wetlands valuation; participatory management of wetlands; urban plans inclined towards sustainable wetlands; wetlands restoration; develop RAMSAR designation roadmap and develop wetlands conservation masterplan.


Dr. Jerome proposed that for the ecosystem to be fully restored, the following must be done: repairing and replanting wetlands, creek beds, forestland, and other habitats; eradicating invasive species; replacing invasive species with native species; enforcing environmental laws; monitoring lagoons and wetlands habitats and preparing reports on findings to government authorities; and also the protection of vulnerable and endangered species in the marine environment.