Stakeholders Dialogue On Ways To Boost Nigeria’s Biodiversity Projection

By Hadiza Ndadama

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Stakeholders have met to brainstorm and come up with strategic plans that could help drive policy for biodiversity projection in coaster and marine environment in Nigeria.
At a one day Dialogue, the Director General of Sheda Science and Technology Complex SHESTCO Professor Paul Onyenekwe said SHESTCO in collaboration with the University of Lagos was granted a Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) project titled: Implementation of the biodiversity information and data system for coastal ecosystems in Nigeria.
Biodiversity related organisations
Represented by the Director Planning, Research and Statistics Dr. Theophilus Abayomi, the DG said the project established agreements on data sharing and exchange with the Nigerian biodiversity clearing house set up between relevant biodiversity related organisations and stakeholders.
These collaborative partnerships enabled the mobilization of about 20000 plant herbarium specimens, 5000 animal records as well as 6000 fungal specimens from coastal ecosystems in Nigeria,” he said.
He said coastal and marine environments were tremendously bio diverse, explaining that human activities, pollution, land use and development along coastlines had put stress on the environment limiting the rate of growth and reproduction of coastal flora and fauna.
A former Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos and Principal Investigator of the project, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said to achieve the marine blue economy, it was necessary to give information that would be useful at the local and international level for collaboration or other related matters.
So that when we are talking about the blue economy at the international level, they will know that we have information. If they want to collaborate with us, if they want to fund some of these research works or they are interested in anything about the blue economy, they will be able to get the information needed on the GBIF platform and other platforms that we are going to deposit the information” he said.
Professor Ogundipe noted that the project is about “working on the specimens that have been collected before by various scientists in the past, as far back as the one Mungo Park collected when he came to Nigeria and we were able to get all the information and we came up with about 30,000 specimens that we have captured for this purpose”.
He said that a policy was being developed as he called on the government to help pay the country’s fee in the sum of 32,000 Euro to be a member which he said will help get many benefits for Nigeria particularly the students.

Professor Ogundipe added that the project is achievable in Nigeria as there will be a continous advocate about it.

Lateefah Ibrahim
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