World Wetlands Day 2002: Nigeria
World Wetlands Day report: by Ojei Babatunde
2nd February, 2002
Wetlands as it 's known globally is one of the 'richest' ecosystems in terms of its' biodiversity values and functions. In line with the importance of this ecosystem, Nigerian Conservation Foundation in its capacity as the foremost environmental NGO in Nigeria and a member of the National committee on Wetlands organized a one-day awareness activity tagged 'Wetlands Open day 2002' at the Lekki Conservation Centre in Lagos, Nigeria.
The event hosted over 150 participants including students from Tertiary institutions, secondary schools, corporate individuals, pressmen from the print and electronic media, and academicians.
The programme kicked of with a welcome address on the status of Nigeria's wetlands and Nigeria's involvement in the convention by Prof. E.A Obot (NCF), this was followed by three technical presentations on - Wetlands of Nigeria, Wetlands as a source of resources, and Chevron's Mangrove restoration effort in Escravos-these presentations were made by Olumide Akinsola (NCF), Ojei Babatunde (NCF), and Titi Ajose (Chevron Nigeria Ltd) respectively.
The vote of thanks was given by NCF's Director of Fundraising and Communications, Dr. O. Onyegbule.
After the presentations and refreshments, all the participants were conveyed to a Mangrove area in Shangotedo, Lekki, Lagos, to see human impact and dependence on this vital resource and a presentation on the local perspective of mangroves was made by one of local loggers in the area, it was quite an interesting experience most especially for the young ones who had never seen a mangrove before 'World Wetlands day, 2002'. The field visit also availed the participants the opportunity of seeing wetlands as a source of energy and recreation, as most of the rural women were coking with the gathered fuel-wood, while the children enjoyed the splendour of the lagoon.
This visit brought to bare the need for a concerted effort on Wetlands conservation Nationally.
The field programme was anchored by Ojei Babatunde, Kunle Oyewole and Tosin Adeoye (NCF).
Attached are some photographs showing the lectures and the field trip.