The Nigeria National Parks Services (NPS) says it is collaborating with the Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Science, on biodiversity research to help develop and preserve the nation’s natural heritage.
Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, the Conservator-General, NPS said the survey and research activities would focus on selected priority sites, while the National Parks would contribute to the design, analysis, implementation and publication of the collaborative research output.
“The research will equip us to protect, restore and make sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and biodiversity loss,” he said.
Goni said the partnership would encourage development of scientific programmes, research capacity building and cultural exchange between Nigeria and China.
He stated that researchers from the Chinese Institute led by Prof. Jing Che are already at Gashaka Gumti, situated in both Adamawa and Taraba States for a field survey on biodiversity, zoological and botanical research.
According to him, the researchers will also map out strategies for the conservation of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates and plants and also survey Gashaka Gumti herpatofauna.
He said that the service under his watch would carry out principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to the letter.
“Some of the goals are to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls, promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all”, he noted.
“I just appointed the first female Park Conservator in the service which is the equivalent to Commissioner of Police as part of efforts to fulfill some of the SDGs.This will help fight inequality, injustice, end poverty and tackle climate change by 2030 as well as build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation,’’ Goni said.
Ms Caroline Olory, the new appointed Park Conservator in charge of Cross River, said the challenge of being the first female conservator of parks in Nigeria would bring out the best in her.
“I am elated and challenged to work harder to help the service achieve its mandate,’’ Olory said.