Nigeria’s vast biodiversity is challenged by a number of threats, including poor natural resource management, rapid and uncontrolled development, and lack of technical capacity. To address this, Nigeria has established a number of protected areas, including several national parks, 11 Ramsar sites and two World Heritage sites.

In this context and to further the work on biodiversity conservation in Nigeria, the Conference of the National Chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology was held in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on May 6th. The aim of conference was to engage students, youth and biodiversity conservation practitioners in deliberation discuss and deliberate on the challenges and opportunities for biodiversity conservation in Nigeria.

                     Screen Shot 2018 05 25 at 11.35.13 AM    Receiving award with me in Uniform is the 1st Female Conservator of Parks in West Africa.1    Screen Shot 2018 05 25 at 11.35.30 AM  

At the conference, Ms. Ibironke Olaboumise, SGP National Coordinator, was awarded the Conservation Award by the Society for Conservation Biology, Nigeria Chapter in recognition of her efforts. SGP Nigeria was recognized as the largest funder of conservation activities in Nigeria and especially noted for generating the active participation of remote communities in biodiversity conservation and for giving these communities access to conservation funds and capacity building.

GEF Small Grants Programme started operations in Nigeria in 2009, and since then it has supported over 140 community projects in 25 states to the tune of $5,050,000 in grant amount and $4,900,070 in co-financing. This makes the GEF Small Grants the largest funder of environmnetal projects in remote, poor and marginalised communities in Nigeria. SGP complements UNDP Nigeria’s policy programmes through “bottom-up” community initiatives influencing both local and national laws, as well as contributing to multilateral environmental agreements.