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UNILAG INAUGURATES CENTRE FOR BIODIVERSITY : UNILAG has inaugurated the Centre for Biodiversity, Conservation and Ecosystem Management (CEBCEM) for carrying out research that would help to preserve, sustain biodiversity and enhance human life.

In a keynote address, Dr. Adbullahi Bichi Baffa, the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), said that the essence of the centre is to balance and sustain the ecosystem.

“The essence of this centre is to balance the ecosystem and ensure that the effect of climate change is arrested in ensuring that the crisis of degradation of the environment is controlled.

“The damage that we are doing to the ecosystem has to be reversed and this requires a number of actions from spectrum of stakeholders, from individual level to government, multinationals, private sectors and civil society organizations. There should be advocacy. People should ensure that our climate is safe and appreciate that the challenges in our climate are real.  This research is important to us because it is part of our project,” he said.

In his contribution, Dr. Adeshola Adepoju, the Executive Director of Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), who was represented by Dr. (Mrs.) Aderounmu, said that the main driver of the loss of biodiversity could be attributed to the influence of human beings on the world’s ecosystem.

He said that efforts should be directed towards expanding inter-disciplinary research that explores ways to increase biodiversity of ecosystem without sacrificing potential yield of natural environment.

Prof. Dele Olowokudejo of the Department of Botany, Unilag said that the establishment of CEBCEM was to enable them to preserve the natural resources they have in Nigeria.

“The natural resources which also include us human beings are the resources that make life possible on earth, without them this life will not be possible and they are collectively referred to as biodiversity or what may also be called biological diversities and they include animals, plants, and insects.

“We are saying that these things need to be preserved because they provide us with a lot of services – food, shelter, clothing etcetera. If we deplete them we will be finding our way out of this Earth because they are equivalent to life on Earth or what you may call biodiversity.”

Mallam Ibrahim Musa Goni, the Conservation General of National Park, was represented by Mr. Joseph Ntui.

He said that the National Park that are seven in number and located in different geo-political areas across the nation are areas of land and sea with natural features set aside by government for protection and conservation purposes. People are not allowed to hunt, graze and fish to protect our biodiversity.

Mr. Adekoya Tope, Head Enforcement, Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) said that the agency has provided about 9,000 jobs, planted over six million plants and reclaimed 317 open spaces which have been converted into beautiful gardens.



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