NCF, Ogun government train Park Rangers

Nigerian Conservation Foundation

The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Ogun State Ministry of Forestry will organise a field training and orientation programme for newly recruited Park Rangers in the state. The seven-day training begins at Omo Forest Reserve, Area J4, Ogun State on Sunday.

NCF has engaged Mr. Blessingtone Chando Maghanga from the Kenya Forest Service to facilitate the training. Maghanga is currently the Station Manager, Buda Forest Station- Kwale County.

He has degrees in forest management and well experienced for over 2 decades in nature conservation and forest resources management.

With only four per cent forest cover left in Nigeria, urgent actions are now required from government, private sector, communities and individuals to protect and sustainably manage what is left, while making reforestation an immediate priority.

This dire situation warranted the collaboration between the Ogun State Government and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation to train and equip the newly recruited Park Rangers with the knowledge of sustainable management of the forest.

Recently, NCF raised awareness on the drastic loss of the Nigerian rainforest at an annual rate of 400,000 hectares annually.

The Ogun state government in its bid to achieve positive transformation in the forestry sector has identified this collaboration and training as a much needed tool to complete the induction of the new Park Rangers into Ogun State forest management and wildlife protection.

In a related development, NCF in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Birdlife International is organising a two-day workshop for Non-Governmental Organisations across the West African region in Abuja on 6th and 7th February, 2019.

The theme of the workshop is ‘’Conservation-collaboration beyond National boundaries in the sub-region’’.

The West African region is endowed with rich biodiversity populated by numerous species of flora and fauna. Unfortunately, this unique range of biodiversity are now amongst the world’s most threatened, due to illegal poaching and harvesting of parts or whole species, habitat degradation, poorly planned infrastructural, agricultural and urban settlement development.

A valuable mitigating factor to West African disappearing biodiversity is the lack of a platform for cross-border information exchange to develop common strategies and policies for biodiversity conservation. This has been identified as a major setback.

It is expected that this maiden workshop will provide a stronger platform for regional co-operation amongst Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and ensure that humans will live “in harmony with nature”.

The participating NGOs across the sub-region are Naturama – Burkina Faso; SOS Forests – Cote d’Ivoire; Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS); Society for the Conservation of Nature in Liberia (SCNL); Conservation Society of Sierra Leone (CSSL) and Nature-Communautés-Développement (NCD), Senegal

International and regional organisations attending the workshop are World Bank, African Development Bank, UNESCO, USAID, MacArthur Foundation, Heinrich Boll Stiftung and A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI).

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