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Institute Establishes 160 Hectares Of National Mandate Tree Species

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The Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) has established 160 hectares of National Mandate Tree Species across ecological zones in Nigeria between 2017 and 2018 under the national afforestation programme.
Dr Adeshola Adepoju, the Executive Director, FRIN, told the newsmen in Ibadan, on Thursday that the institute achieved this feat through research breakthrough in tree-breeding and genetics and reducing the gestation period of some indigenous economic tree species.
He listed the tree species as; Vitellaria paradoxa (Shea butter tree) Garcinia kola (bitter kola) Irvinga gabonensis (Bush mango) among others.
He said the institute also established a herbal gene bank, developed herbal drugs and trained personnel on conservation of medicinal plants.
Adepoju also disclosed that soil research activities were carried out by the institute over the period under review.
He said this was to determine soil nutrients’ availability and the physical properties of soil that matched selected tree species to be planted within a particular locality.
“During the period, there was an increase of 25,000 plants collection to Forest Herbarium (FHI) which has more than 150,000 plants specimen and recognised as the largest herbarium in West Africa.
“FRIN developed an innovative process technology which converted wood wastes, principally sawdust and wood shavings, into decorative phase ceiling boards, flour and wall tiles.
“Due to the rapid loss of biodiversity globally, FRIN is focusing its research on conservation and domestication of the rare, threatened and critically endangered Flora and Fauna species, as identified by the International Union for conservation of Nature (IUCN).
“The training workshop on Botanical Research and Herberium Management (BRAHMS) System was undertaken through Capture of Primary Biodiversity Data on West African Plants, sponsored by JRS Biodiversity Foundation of U.S. this year.
“This data management tool is being extended to the broader Nigeria Science community to enhance the expertise of Herbarium workers/users, Plant Ecologists, Seed collectors, Plant Data Collectors, Plant Data keeper and Graduate Students,” he said.
The Executive Director said FRIN also developed a Forest Management plan for the Association of Charcoal Exporters of Nigeria (ACEN) for sustainable renewable energy production in the forest at Ora, in Kwara State.
He said to achieve its extension and dissemination mandate, six farming systems’ annual review workshops were organised by the institute to identify farmers’ problems in adopting FRIN research breakthrough.
“There were planning research activities on different models of Agroforestry, sensitisation for farmers and other beneficiaries of FRIN’s technologies on the need for further collaboration.
“Also, we sensitised the public on the importance of FRIN in food security through agroforestry in sustainable forest management.”
He noted that technologies such as edible mushroom cultivation, cane rat domestication and multiplication, snail farming, honey production and processing, were transferred to more than 1,000 farmers in FRIN adopted villages (Forest-based Rural Resource Centres).
He said other technologies transferred included seedlings production and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) processing and utilisation.
“United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), in collaboration with Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) through a Fund-in-Trust agreement, commenced a project on Green Economy in Biosphere Reserves (GEBR).
“The project aims to reduce poverty, bio diversify conservation and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa and FRIN is anchoring the project by establishing four livelihood enterprises in Omo biosphere for 200 project beneficiaries.
“The enterprises are: Fish farming/ production, snail rearing, mushroom production and wildlife (Grass cutter) domestication,” he said.
Adepoju noted that a bill for an act to establish the FRIN Bill, 2016; and other related matters, had been enacted by the National Assembly and assented to by the Presidency on Aug. 17, 2018.
He said that the FRIN Establishment Act had also been gazetted on Aug. 20, 2018.
The executive director said a restructuring and manpower development document was produced for the institute to enhance productivity, efficiency and focus-based research output.
“This policy document is positively directing the institute toward meeting her mandates in a better way.”
Adepoju, however, identified the institute’s challenge as low appreciation of its critical mandates in the sustainable environmental management by Nigerians in the rural areas.
“Another challenge is non-collaboration between private and public sectors in the protection of private and public businesses, through biodiversity conservation and sustainable environmental management practices.
“We have several other achievements not mentioned here, but in spite of these challenges, we will make more progress in 2019,” Adepoju said. (NAN)

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Stakeholder Applauds Buhari’s Directive On Audit Of HYPREP’s Accounts

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Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has applauded the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on the audit of the accounts of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
Uyi Ojo, the Executive Director of the foremost environmental civil organisation, gave the applause at the official presentation of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) assessment report and HYPREP’s performance scorecard to newsmen and members of its affiliates in Benin.
The Tide source reports HYPREP is an agency charged with the clean-up of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta States since its inception in 2016.
Uyi urged the president never to allow the directive to go the way of a similar one ordered into the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
This audit, he said, was currently in a long-drawn-out process on the work of the commission.
The executive director noted that apart from the accounts, an audit of the cleanup and remediation work carried out under the project should also be conducted by an independent body.
According to him, if the Nigerian government, the Ogoni people and partners are going to request the international community to support the continuation of the project, there must be transparency and accountability in the way the initial $1billion fund was utilised.
“The payment of $1 billion was for cleanup and remediation in the first five years in a cleanup that will last 25-30 years.
“The agreement between the Federal Government and Shell Petroleum Development on one hand, and the Ogoni community on the other hand, was for the contributing stakeholders to pay $200 million yearly for the initial five years.
“But for four years after the project was launched, only $360 million has been paid as confirmed by the NNPC during a public hearing at the House of Representatives in Abuja in 2020.
“There is no update on whether further transfers had been made for 2021 and 2022,’’ he said.

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World Lion Day: ‘Nigeria’s Lions On Verge Of Extinction’

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WildAid says Nigeria lions are on the verge of extinction. This is contained in a statement signed by Kelechukwu Iruoma, WildAid Representative in Nigeria and made available to The Tide source in Lagos.
WildAid said that it launched a weeklong campaign to raise awareness about the threats facing Nigeria’s lions to mark World Lion Day.
WildAid said that over the last 50 years, the number of wild lions across Africa had plummeted from 200,000 to roughly 20,000.
“The crisis is most acute in West Africa, where there are only about 400 lions left, surviving in a few small isolated clusters.
“In Nigeria, lions are on the verge of extinction, with scientists estimating that there may be fewer than 50 adult lions left in the wild.
“In the past, lions roamed northern Nigeria in large numbers, primarily residing in the Kainji Lake National Park and the Yankari Game Reserve in northern Nigeria,” WildAid said.
The statement quoted Simon Denver, Senior African Representative for WildAid as saying:
“Hunting for bush meat has seriously depleted lions’ natural prey base, while population growth and the expansion of agricultural land has badly eaten into their habitats.
“Lions in Nigeria and across West Africa need urgent help to prevent them from disappearing forever.”
Denver said that the intense pressures on lions’ natural prey caused by bush meat trade and the erosion of their habitats often force them to kill cattle for food.
According to him, the phenomenon brings lions into conflict with humans, who kill lions in retaliation, sometimes using poison.
He said that snares and traps set by bush meat hunters also often inadvertently cught lions and other predators.
“Lion populations in East and Southern Africa are feeling the same pressures – even in Tanzania, which is considered to be the stronghold of Africa’s remaining lions.
“Tanzania has the largest population of lions in Africa with about 8,000 animals left in the wild.
“They provide an important draw for Tanzania’s tourism industry, which generates around 1.5 million jobs and contributes around 17 per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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‘Njemanje Refuse Dump, No Longer A Threat’

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A member of the Port Harcourt City Environmental Sanitation Committee, Mr. Blessing Dickson Tiko, says the Njemanje refuse dump site is no longer a threat to residents of Diobu and its environs.
Tiko said this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in port Harcourt.
He also said the dump site was borne out of the need to have an alternative place for the dumping of refuse following the shutting down of refuse dumps by the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RiWAMA) few months ago.
According to him,”you will agree with me that Port Harcourt has been clean except that few months ago, we had problem with RIWAMA and by God’s grace today Port Harcourt is clean”
Tiko said the problem was not peculiar to Port Harcourt City alone as even sister Local Government of Obio/Akpor suffered similar fate.
“It is not only Port Harcourt City per see at that time, many dumps were shut and Njemanje was the only dump existing and it helps in no small measures in terms of refuse disposal.
He said the dumpsite had been shut down following complaints from various quarters.
“However we know the community complained. The Nation newspaper complained. The Tide Newspaper complained, the Mayor we have is a listening Mayor, so, when he heard the complaints, there was noting to do than to shut down the place, ”he said.
Tiko said the council has acquired a new dump site at Igwuruta.
He commended the Mayor of the Port Harcourt City Local Government Council, Sir Alwell Ihunda for his commitment towards keeping Port Harcourt City clean.
Tiko said the council was also leaving no stone unturned to ensure that markets through out the city were kept clean always.
“I think the Thursday sanitation exercise comprises the markets, shops and motor parks ,but they are not following it up, it is an enforcement issue.
“People need to take it seriously but there is no seriousness in it and the government had to do something about it because it is the only time we see people bring out dirt especially in Diobu axis”.
He said also said DIOBU axis of the city generates more refuse than other parts because it population density
Tiki also advised that the monthly enviromental sanitation exercise be revive ,while dumping of refuse on road median be discouraged.

By: John Bibor

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