TBA is behind new student conservation platform in Nigeria
The tangible impact of TBA capacity building will be felt in Nigeria this week when dozens of students from universities across the country converge for a conference to discuss key national conservation issues.
‘Conservation without Constraints’, which runs from 25-27 May, is the second conference in as many years organised by the dynamic Nigerian Society for Environmental Conservation.
The society, solely composed of and run by students, was set up by a group of Nigerian undergraduates who were inspired by the 2nd African Student Conference for Conservation Science, organised in Ghana in 2015 by the TBA African Alumni Group (TAAG).
The Ghana conference saw around 100 participants from 18 countries gain direct insight into key conservation issues from a panel of outstanding speakers, student presentations and discussions. With funding from TBA, the Nigeria TBA alumni group (NTBA) organised transport for participants from Nigeria. Among those that traveled with the alumni group were a few undergraduate students from Nigerian universities.
This move turned out to be a major contribution to the lives of these young conservationists. They returned home to launch the new society which has already become one of the most effective conservation groups in Nigeria.
In just two years, the Nigerian Society for Environmental Conservation has established a membership base in 15 universities and colleges, and support from various sponsors and partners. The main aim is to give its members the opportunity to have a hands-on experience with the wildlife, environment and people of Nigeria.
It provides a platform that allows students from different parts of the country to interact and learn more about conservation. Through this, students, researchers and decision makers, are afforded the opportunity of experiencing how a well-established protected area functions and what is involved in maintaining a project of this nature.
The society has conducted a number of capacity building programmes including a national conference for conservation scientists, students and professionals; a symposium to address biodiversity conservation and agricultural practices in Nigeria themed ‘Competition or Collaboration’; Inter-Varsity Quiz Competitions and an inaugural meeting that was held in 2015 under the theme ‘Conservation in Nigeria: Successes, Challenges and Lessons.’
‘Conservation without Constraints’ will be held from 25 to 27 May at the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Alongside other professionals, the students have invited the Nigeria TBA alumni group coordinator, Fola Babalola as a speaker. He was also a key note speaker in the first conference and both events have received considerable support from NTBA.