Zoo operators in Nigeria launch association

Posted: June 7, 2015 in general

SavedPicture-201532116115.jpgStakeholders from zoological gardens across the country converged on the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden Conference Room last May, 2015, to chart a long conceived project for the formation of a Nigerian Association of Zoological Gardens (NAZG).

A communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, signed by Dr. Olajumoke Morenikeji, indicated as its objective, the formation of a national umbrella for zoos in Nigeria that would serve as its mouthpiece, as well as mobilizing a sustained drive for the enthronement of standards and international best practices.

According to the communiqué, the soon to be formally inaugurated Association underscores the renewed importance of zoos in bio-diversity conservation, education and recreation, in relation to national tourism development. A centrepiece of the Association’s aims and objectives is in the area of networking for capacity building/exchange and liaison with Government as well as relevant stakeholders on the welfare of animals and issues concerning zoos in general. Recognizing that zoos are among the most visited places on the planet, such is instructive as a platform for socio-cultural transformation in the areas of respect for wildlife and sustainable use of nature’s resources.

A protem Executive Committee was inaugurated at this meeting with Dr. Olajumoke Morenikeji of University of Ibadan Zoo emerging as President and Alh. Ali Yola of Kano Zoo, First Vice President. Other protem executives include Mr Francis Abioye of Imo State Zoo as Second Vice President, Mr. Andy Ehanire of Ogba Zoo, Benin City, as General Secretary, and Alh. Aminu Mohammed of Abuja Zoo to oversee Public Relations/Enlightenment. Two key Standing Committees were also set up. One for Technical matters – as in collaborative research, programs, etc; while Accreditation Committee is for Membership Services and Technical Audits.

The meeting gave special recognition to the strategic role of the Nigeria National Parks in Biodiversity conservation in the country, and the exemplary individual contributions of Mr. A.P. Leventis in many Site-Specific schemes in Conservation. Special appreciation was also given to the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan Prof. I.F. Adewole for supporting the nascent Association by hosting two (2) International Training Workshops for Zoo Management, and several meetings of a Steering Committee that piloted the formative stage of the Association.

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