As part of measures aimed at reclaiming and improving the biodiversity status of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka and transforming it into a resource base centre for teaching, research and eco-tourism, the institution, in collaboration with Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Lagos, has commenced afforestation project.
Speaking during the take off, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Charles Esimone, said the institution is blessed with natural forest, as well as seasonal and perennial streams.
The Vice Chancellor further noted that the collaboration will assist in providing sustainable utilization of the natural resources in the areas of ecotourism and environmental education.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Dr Muhtari Aminu Kano, represented by Director technical programmes of the foundation, Dr Joseph Onoja, said the collaboration with the Nnamdi Azikiwe University will enhance the landscape, aesthetics and watershed conservation, restore degraded forest areas and serve as a base for massive tree planting exercise and environmental education.
He pledged the foundation’s readiness to provide over two thousand seedlings and required ingredients for planting and growing trees. However, preliminary survey conducted shows that there is need for the afforestation and natural conservation project, saying that the natural conservation areas covers about sixty two hectares.
Adding his voice, Dr Stanley Ilechukwu, Executive Director, South Sahara Social Development Organization, said they are poised to monitor the sustainability of the afforestation.