Why was BPC formed?
Rural Communities that are the long- standing custodians of the natural forest estates, especially in West and Central Africa, are fast losing their valuable resource base. Clear- felling and bush burning of large forest tracks, for farming and logging, has caused devastating effects on the forest resources, rural livelihood needs and biodiversity, generally. Clear- felled and burnt sites, especially farmlands, are exposed to the devastating consequences of erosion and desertification. All these have resulted in: loss of endemic flora and fauna; silting of rich, clean forest streams and rivers; loss of valuable medicinal plants and natural food sources. This situation has created hardship for the ever- increasing rural populations whose lives depend solely on their forests. Pressure is now forced on Protected Areas (PAs) eg National Parks and Game Reserves.
The current situation in Nigeria, and I believe in other countries in the region, is that the existing mechanisms of forest conservation under the forest reserve system have almost completely broken down. Forests Reserves are really no longer reserves. National Parks, on their part, are also under serious threats of encroachment. Most rural communities are experiencing acute shortage of fertile land for farming. Government institutions, both state and federal alone cannot salvage the situation hence the clarion call on all nature lovers to ‘put hands on deck’ to salvage the situation in this era of climate change and its attendant impending negative impacts, 2010 being year of Biodiversity and 2011 being the Year of the Forest.
Objectives of the Organization
BPC is dedicated to the protection and preservation of Nigerian wildlife Biodiversity through field biological researches on key endemic and endangered wildlife species, conservation action and education, outreach programmes, anti-Bushmeat campaigns/advocacy and provision of alternatives to bushmeat through the “Only livestock” programme and adopting sustainable NTFPs extraction and utilization. Collaborate with other local, national, international NGOs of like objectives and Donor organisations to pursue a brighter and sustainable future for Nigerian wildlife biodiversity. That is to say, to promote a safe and Healthy world through sustainable in situ and ex-situ wildlife biodiversity conservation.
In summary and specifically our objectives are;
- To continue with on-going field biological researches aimed at collecting basic and comprehensive information and data on the status of the Nigerian biodiversity.
- To investigate and document additional areas of potential threats to biodiversity conservation, with a view to identify gaps in knowledge, protection, and promoting specific conservation activities that may arise in the course of study.
- To analyse patterns of human-behaviours, social relations and cultural preferences as these affect the Nigerian biodiversity and environment.
- To stimulate debate and help intensify awareness in Nigeria through conservation education of environmental consequences of socio-economic activities, especially unsustainable bio-resources exploitation, habitat degradation and destruction.
- To publish and place to the disposal of all relevant groups and government, information and perspectives which could assist in the formulation of policy for promoting and conserving the Nigerian bio-resources and environment.
- To organize conferences, symposia, demonstrations lectures and take any other action and or steps which will facilitate the realization of the objectives stated above.
ACTIVITIES BPC SPECIFICALLY WANT TO ACHIEVE IN THE NEXT 3 YEARS
- Conservation of Cross River gorillas: The BPC research team intends to intensify the on-going assessment of the Cross River gorilla populations and their habitats in the Boshi/Boshi extension portion of the Cross River National Park (CRNP), and Mbe Mountains in Cross River State.
- To continue and intensify on-going field research on the Preuss’s red colobus monkeys in the Oban Group of forests (Ikpan Block).
- Assessment of other important primates’ habitats and populations for their long term conservation action as well as collect other relevant wildlife information in the respective areas.
- Continue on-going herpetofaunal surveys.
- Continue on-going anti bushmeat consumption campaigns and provision of alternatives to bushmeat to rural populations.
- Continue with our African Manatees conservation project throughout southern Nigeria
- Continue with Ibom Bird Club initiative towards birds conservation in Akwa Ibom State and environs
- Continue with our BoNN project showcasing our wildlife resources as our heritage and our eco-tourism assets yearning to be harnessed
- Continue with our Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) intiatives where we help identified species
- To continue on-going conservation education programmes throughout Nigeria.
- To strive to maintain as much as possible a sustained research presence in the field. This has proven over the years to reduce hunting/poaching intensities in the areas concerned.
- Finally, to join hands with all governmental and non-governmental organisations to pursue a healthy environment and sustainable resources utilization through active conservation action (research, education, policy and participation).
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