Minister of Environment Commends NCF’s Conservation Efforts

Sunday, 27 September 2020 16:09

 

 

 

The Minister of the Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar during his working visit to the headquarters of Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), Lekki Conservation Centre commended the efforts of NCF in salvaging the environment and partnering with the Federal Government of Nigeria through her ministry in protecting and restoring the environment for the benefits of the people. 

 

He made this known in his statement while appreciating the Foundation for not only being heavy in terms of public awareness campaign and implementation of projects but also as a reliable partner in the environment sector over the years.  

 

Speaking further on the achievements of this present administration, he said “We have built and we are building numbers of recycling plants that will take used plastics, wash and make all kinds of things out of them. For example pallet, and this pallet will be used to make interlock, the interlock made from plastics will even last longer than the brick interlocks” 

 

He added that the present government has been able to move the forest cover of the nation from 4% to 6% and working towards restoring it to 25% as recommended globally 

 

The Minister shortly after his arrival, went on a guided tour of the Centre. He also experienced a thrilling moment on the longest canopy walk in Africa. In his company was Prof. Adeshola Adepoju, Chairman, National Forest Trust Fund; Mr. Charles Ikeah, Director, Pollution Control & Environment Health, Federal Ministry of Environment among others. 

 

As an action Minister, Dr. Abubakar rounded off the day with a planting of Ekki tree (lofira alata) within the centre. 

 

The Minister was received by Chief Ede Dafinone, Chairman, National Executive Council of NCF; Dr. Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director General of NCF; Mr. Tom Akagbosu, a representative of Chevron Nigeria Ltd and NCF Management staff. 

 

 

 

 

An Urban Jungle with a Thrilling Experience: Lekki Conservation Centre

Sunday, 27 September 2020 05:34

 

 

 

Lekki Conservation Centre is home to the longest canopy walk in Africa, tree house, nature station, fish ponds, floor games, swamp lookout and other relaxation facilities. 

 

Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC), an urban jungle in the heart of Lagos, is a centre of excellence in environmental research and education reserved as a sanctuary for the rich flora and fauna of the Lekki Peninsula. This 78-hectare facility is the only one of its kind in Lagos State.

 

LCC is a tourist haven that welcomes people from all walks of life in their thousands daily. Foreign Ambassadors, top government officials, corporate organisations visit the place for team bonding. Schools pupils and undergraduates visit the place for environmental education. 

 

LCC has grown into one of Africa’s most diverse urban nature parks. Located along the Lekki-Epe expressway, LCC is the only vibrant protected area and one of the few reputable tourists’ destinations in Lagos. For 30years, the centre has catered for over 2 million tourists, LCC has become a strong advocacy tool used in promoting forest regeneration, environmental literacy and campaigns. 

 

LCC was established by NCF to focus on four thematic areas which include conservation, environmental education, research and ecotourism. LCC has evolved from core conservation into an emerging ecotourism destination making it to be tagged as Pearl of Ecotourism in Nigeria. 

 

The ecotourism potential of LCC was acknowledged during the Nigeria Tourism Award where the centre was awarded the best Tourism Site in Nigeria for 2019. It is worthy of note that the number of tourists visiting the centre was significant during 2019, where we recorded over 95,000 tourists.  In other to engage our tourists effectively, the Centre has developed Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials focusing on different species that are found within the reserve. Although these materials are part of environmental education tools it has become useful for nature interpretation and ecotourism at the Centre. 

 

As a Resource Centre, LCC is a model for the promotion of environmental education and public awareness/understanding of the natural world due to the rapidly increasing threats to the natural environment, the need to stem the alarming loss of the natural environment and the attendant potentially drastic consequences for the planet as well as the concerns for the future conduct, welfare, happiness and survival of mankind on earth.

 

The centre serves as a research hub for students across the country. The students visiting the centre are being educated on environmental issues such as plastics waste, climate change and emerging issues within environmental education space. The centre has continued to play host to beauty pageants, musical video shootings, movie scenes, reality shows etc among which are Miss Earth beauty pageant; Agatha Amata at 20; among others.  

 

LCC has a Rotunda, a hall that can sit 150 people for meeting. The nature reserve is a savannah that reptiles, Mona monkeys and different species of birds, species of plants and insects are found. Because of its swampy nature, there is a wooden board walkway through which tourists and researchers make their way into the forest reserve. LCC has the longest Canopy Walkway in Africa. Inside the reserve is a Family Park designed for picnics and relaxation. The Park has 4 Gazebos; each named after a wild animal found in the area. It has other smaller huts for relaxation. It has diverse floor games, fish ponds and jungle gym facilities.

 

It is the only vibrant protected area in Lagos State and one of the very few vibrant tourist destinations of repute in Lagos and has thus been recognized as one of the notable Sites/Monuments of special interest and exceptional relevance by the Lagos State Government under the LISTED SITES for the preservation, protection and restoration of historical properties and cultural heritage in Lagos State and for connected purposes.

 

As part of the pollution management and environmental health project sponsored by the World Bank and Lagos State Government, LCC was chosen as an air quality control centre for the project. This is a confirmation of the ecosystem services provided by LCC in building resilience for a mega-city like Lagos. 

 

LCC also has an “Orchids Garden”. The garden feature species such as Angraecum pyriforme, Bulbophyllum filiforme, Bulbophyllum nigericum, Bulbophyllum porphyrostachys, Habenaria nigrescens, Liparis goodyeroides and Polystachya cooperi. The garden serves as collection centre, environmental education, nature conservation and eco-tourism. 

 

As the World Tourism Day is being commemorated globally today, NCF invites everyone to have a thrilling experience, an exhilarating memorable lifetime in Lekki Conservation Centre.

 

LCC was established by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in 1992. The project is being funded by Chevron Nigeria Ltd. NCF is Nigeria’s foremost Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to nature conservation and biodiversity management.

 

 

 

 

 

NCF Raised Voice for Vulture Conservation, Commemorates Vulture Day

Monday, 21 September 2020 07:05

 

As the need to promote conservation message becomes more important in the face of the world battling the effect of COVID-19, and in order to prevent another pandemic through zoonotic disease, International and local NGOs embarked on vulture conservation awareness campaign in Africa.

 

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), a leading environmental NGO in Nigeria commemorated the International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) across the nation through webinars hosted on five different days.

 

Dr. Joseph Onoja, Director of Technical programmes, NCF, in his presentation revealed that nature has bestowed on us vultures as environmental sanitary officers. A vulture can offer a clean-up service worth $11,200 in its lifetime.

 

He emphasised, “Without vultures, humans are vulnerable to the spread of infectious diseases, because, in the absence of vultures, dogs and rats become the clean-up crew. The danger in this is that these animals are not equipped for such and are close to human population, exposing us to diseases.”

 

In his presentation, Mr. Aniekan-Abasi Emmah Uwatt, a conservation biologist and ornithologist, observed that human activities are the major drivers to the vultures’ threatened status. He added that the world could suffer from negligence if something drastic is not done to preserve the remaining vulture species in Nigeria.

 

He said, “Imagine a world without vultures, it will lead to disease outbreaks such as anthrax; rabies; botulism; we would also have a dirty environment with dead carcasses and foul smells.”

 

Another facilitator, Mr. Apeverga Paul Tersoo, Lecturer, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State said that Vultures may not be very appealing by their looks, but these birds, also known as scavengers do the dirty jobs of cleaning our environment by taking care of carcasses and preventing the spread of diseases which in turn keeps the ecosystem healthy. The importance of these natural environmental cleaners cannot be over-emphasized because the benefits we derive from them for free will cost us so much that it can only be imagined.

 

He said “A case study is seen in India where a crash in the vulture population was observed after the birds fed on carcasses of livestock that were treated with Diclofenac. The Indian white-rumped vulture was the most hit, with a decline rate of 99.9%. What followed was a surge in the population of feral dogs that were infected with rabies from litters of carcasses as a result of the absence of our natural cleaners (the vultures). Consequently, an increase in human deaths from rabies nearly caused a public health catastrophe that saw the government of India spending about $34 billion to fight the spread of the disease.”

 

While presenting, Mallam Samaila Mohammed Alkali, Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Coordinator, Kano Airport said that aviation is a major threat to the survival of vultures. This is due to bird strike. Bird strikes occur when bird physically collide with aircraft. According to him, “Approximately 10,692 vultures were killed by Aircrafts between 2008 -2015, these may represent 1500 Vultures killed every year for the period of 7years.” 

 

Meanwhile, in his presentation, Mr. Adewale Awoyemi, Head of Forest Centre, IITA Ibadan observed that the vanishing vultures have critical implications on human health and existence. The destruction of their habitats by deforestation is a threat to vulture conservation.

 

International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD) is celebrated on the first Saturday of September every year to reflect on the importance of vultures and the essential role they play in a healthy ecosystem, and also to spread awareness about the range of threat facing vultures and urge the people to take action and prevent extinction of the ecological bird species.

 

Nigeria is home to seven out of the eleven vultures that exist in Africa. They are Egyptian Vulture- Neophronpercnopterus (Endangered), Hooded Vulture - Necrosyrtesmonachus (Endangered),  White-backed Gypsafricanus (Endangered), White-headed - Trigonocepsoccipitalis (Vulnerable),  Ruppell’s Griffon - Gyprueppellii (Endangered),  Palm-nut Vulture - Gypohieraxangolensis (Least Concern)  and Lappet-faced Vulture -Torgostracheliotus – (Endangered). The only species that seems to be thriving in the country are the Hooded Vulture and Palm-nut Vulture.

 

Other facilitators, speakers and contributors at the webinars include Mariam Longe of TVC YourView; Peters Uduak, known as ‘Tito da fire’; Mr. Sulaiman Muhammed & Mr. Abubakar Ringim, lecturers, University of Dutse; Dr. Stella Egbe-Iruoje an environmental scientist; Mr. Mahmud Adedayo, Zonal Cord, NCF South-west office; Mr. Emmanuel Owan, Zonal Head, NCF Calabar office, Mr. Solomon Adefolu, EV-Life Project Lead among others.