National Parks to commence research into environmental problems

The Nigeria National Parks Service will soon embark on researches that are crucial in finding solutions to complex environmental problems plaguing the country.

The Conservator-General, Nigeria National Parks Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Goni who said this in Abuja, stressed that the research would involve researchers and scientists from different areas of specialisation.

He said that the research could help to determine the effects of climate change on the environment and how to tackle them.

For instance without research and data, if there is a fire outbreak in a park or forest, or if an oil spillage occurs on land and water; the extent of both biotic and archaeological damage cannot be quantified. So, when accidents occur, the full extent of wildlife and tree losses as well as the magnitude of eventual recovery will never be known because of the paucity of data on the conditions of our forests and parks. An adequate information base will help to assess losses and allow for a better understanding of what changes can be expected, while helping park managers to develop appropriate mitigation and restoration programmes,’’ he said.

Goni said that the research programme of Nigeria National Park Service would facilitate the generation of sound information to help deal with increasingly serious, complex threats and damages to the environment.

The outcome of the research will withstand increasingly detailed scrutiny, enhance public understanding and foster cooperation with scientists as well as other environmental agencies. Many issues that affect our environment such as air and water pollution, the fate of migrating animals, deforestation and land degradation cannot be confined within park boundaries; examinations of the national park system can uncover many cases, in which a lack of scientific understanding may lead to problems and increased conflicts between visitors and parks,’’ he said.

Goni emphasised that research was needed for several purposes, ranging from simply identifying resources to deciding on appropriate short-term and long-term management strategies.

The research will help determine what animals and plants that are present in order to protect them, manage them and detect changes in them. It will also help us to understand the natural dynamics and processes of populations, ecosystems and other park resources, while assessing the effects of specific threats so as to devise and evaluate management responses,’’ he said.