By Victor Essang
Akwa Ibom state came to the lime light in recently when Global Landscape Forum (GLFx), Uyo chapter was recently inaugurated and unveiled. The international event which had the theme: Implementing Ibom Greener Project took place at National Park Service Headquarters, Umaru Musa YaraduaExpressway, Abuja.
It provided the opportunity to showcase the state and secure it a place on the conservation global map.
Global Landscapes Forum (GLF),founded by the World Bank,the United Nations Environment Programme, and the Center forInternational Forestry Research (CIFOR), s the world’s largestknowledge-led forum on integrated land use, dedicated toachieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 and theParis Climate Agreement.
It has about 32 of the world’s leading development andenvironmental organizations as Charter Members.
GLFx aims to grow a global movement that puts communitiesfirst in informing and addressing landscape-level issues.
Uyo chapter of GLF was among the 8 new chapters in Africa selected sequel to a competition which involved a rigorous review of the activities of numerous Non- Governmental Organizations on the environment in Africa.
The Ibom Greener Project is the initiative of the GLFx Uyo. It was inaugurated in 2019 and was presented by the GLFx Uyo Coordinator, Mrs. Emem Umoh at the just concluded Climate Change Conference (COP 26) in Glasgow, Scotland.
Ibom Greener project drew worldwide commendation and recently attracted a seed grant of 5,000 Euros from the Global Landscapes Forum (GLF), soon to be released for regeneration activities.
The goal of the project is to restore and sustainably manage the Stubb’s Creek Forest Reserve and other degraded landscapes in Akwa Ibom State.
The GLFx objectives include to: decentralize and democratize access to knowledge leveraging GLF partners; facilitate local-local and local-global knowledge exchange; provide local actors with targeted learning opportunities and resources; and ultimately, to seed and scale positive actions at the local level for global impact.
Inaugurating the Uyo chapter of Global Landscape Forum, The Conservator General of Park National Park Service, Abuja, Dr. Ibrahim Goni commended the coordinator of Global Landscape Forum, (GLFx), Uyo chapter and CEO of Women in Nature Conservative Organization (WINCO), Mrs Emem Umoh for the giant strides recorded in the actualization of Ibom Greener Project.
Goni said, the project when fully executed will not only write the name of WINCO in the conservation map of Nigeria but across the globe as it will further contribute to ecosystem conservation of the nation’s forest and assist in mitigation of the impact of climate change.
He noted that conservation is the responsibility of everyone, hence the need for all hands to be on deck to make the planet a safe place to live.
While applauding President Muhamadu Buhari for the approval for establishment of 10 new national parks, Goni, said Akwa Ibom state stands a chance of being enlisted as one of the national parks due to the impact created by WINCO.
The Key note speaker, Dr. Clement Ebin, the founder and CEO, African Ecological Restoration Foundation (AERF), expressed concerns over the massive destruction of the environment, terming the action as crime against nature.
Ebin described afforestation as the panacea for climate change and healthy living since most of the plants serve as medicine.
He urged participants to preserve plants and animals in their domains to avoid extinction of some species.
While noting that some methods of tree planting by most individuals negates the principles of conservation, the key note speaker said, planting exotic species can contribute to extinction of some plants and animals.
The representative of GLFx and core team member of GLFX, Uyo chapter, Rev Mmaruwem Edo, described the inauguration of Uyo chapter as a dream come true, noting that Uyo chapter was one of the eight chapters in Africa and one of the twelve in the world.
Edo applauded GLFx Uyo chapter for engaging in result oriented projects, attributing the success recorded to hard work, perseverance and determination aimed at accelerating transformative landscape actions by mobilizing communities and actors.
He also attributed the success to the proactive use of the social media, consultative dialogue, mentorship programs, community mobilization and active participation of the chapter in the recently concluded cop 26 where the coordinator, Mrs EmemUmoh was one of the speakers and all the feats recorded by WINCO as commendable.
The CEO of WINCO, and coordinator of GLFx, Mrs EmemUmoh in her speech, appreciated GLFx for establishing the Uyo chapter and the National Park Service for hosting the inauguration, noting that GLFx which is founded by world bank, a united nations environment program is dedicated to achieving sustainable development goals 2023 and the Paris Agreement.
Describing GLFx as a global movement that put communities first by informing and addressing landscape level issues, she noted that Ibom Greener Project’s aim is to restore the degraded Stubbs Creek Reserve.
According to her, the projects which was selected by GLFx to present at cop 26 has led to several ecosystem impacting projects and has paved way for worldwide recommendations.
Umoh, who lauded GLFx for the inauguration, solicited more support for the realization of the projects.
In his goodwill message, the Director of Wildlife, Park and Ecotourism, Ondo state, Mr. Andy Adujube emphasized the need for synergy among conservation stakeholders and conveyed the goodwill of the Special Assistance and HonorableCommissioner for Natural Resources.
Goodwill messages were also received from representative of Osun state university, Dr. Oluseun Akinsorotan, members of the National Park Service Dr. Itoro Archibong, a core team member, the clan head of Eket Offiong in Esit Eket, His Highness, EteudoUdoikot among others.
The event climaxed with the unveiling and inauguration of the GLFx Uyo chapter.
High point of the event was the presentation of a letter by Mmaruwem Edo, which was signed by the GLFx Coordinator Dr Yemi Adeyeye on behalf of the GLFx Africa Coordinator; Jesca Kiplagat.
GLFx aims to grow a global movement that puts communities first in informing and addressing landscape-level issues.
It mission is to accelerate action globally by enabling individuals and groups with the necessary knowledge, technology, and networks to connect, share, learn, and act through a holistic approach in their local landscapes.