With a huge interest in conservation, I registered for the NCF (Nigerian Conservation foundation) NCF remains one of the biggest conservation organizations in the country with many state branches across the country. Within a couple of hours I was told that my membership card was ready for pickup. I had to schedule a convenient day to pay a visit to the ‘great Lekki Conservation Center” to pick my card and have a good time around, one of the benefits of my membership.
But before I tell about my visit,what is the Nigerian Conservation Foundation about? read on!
The Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) is the premier Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) dedicated to nature conservation and sustainable development in Nigeria. Established in 1980, the Foundation was registered in 1982 as a Charitable Trust under the Land (Perpetual Succession) Act of 1961 – a policy that was replaced by the Company and Allied Matters Act of 1990.
Founded by late Chief S. L. Edu, NCF has its patron as the President and Commander- In-Chief of the Armed Force of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The Foundation has a vision of “a Nigeria where people prosper while living in harmony with nature”. This vision drives its Mission to preserve the full range of Nigeria’s biodiversity which includes species, ecosystems and genetic biodiversity; promote the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations; and advocate actions that minimise pollution and wasteful utilisation of renewable resources.
NCF maintains the lead in promoting environmental conservation and sustainable development; thus, the institutional symbol of natural resource management in Nigeria.
Through its conservation projects, the foundation has developed unique nature conservation strategies that cater for the needs of people while maintaining ecosystem stability. Its ability to work across the spectrum of local communities, corporate bodies and the various tiers of Government using evidence-based actions are the unrivalled standards that pronounce our competence.
NCF operations focus on environmental education, biodiversity conservation, policy advocacy, public sensitization on environmental issues, mitigating environmental pollution and poverty reduction.
The Foundation is a BirdLife International Partner in Nigeria, an associate of Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF) and member of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). Other notable international partners include Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), Wetlands International as well as Fauna and Flora International (FFI).
Locally, NCF forges strong partnerships with other environmental NGOs, Government institutions, business community, academia, and rural-urban communities that share its vision with the aim of building and sustaining a more lasting union to safeguard the environment.
The National Secretariat is located at the Lekki Conservation Centre, Lagos with a Regional Office in Calabar as well as project offices in Eket and Oron (Akwa Ibom State), Gashaka (Taraba State), Hadejia-Nguru (Jigawa, Yobe and Bauchi States), Obudu Cattle Ranch (Cross River State), Yenegoa (Bayelsa State), Buru (Taraba State) Omo J4 (Ogun), Ifon (Ondo) and Benin (Edo). We also have collaborative project outposts at IITA Ibadan (Oyo State) and Afi Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary (Cross River State).
NCF projects which cut across Nigeria are dedicated to solving environmental problems through the improvement of livelihood of the host communities and in the long run protecting the vast biodiversity inherent in the community. Some of these projects include:
- Akwa Ibom State: Nipa Palm Utilization Project
- Cross River State: Management of Becheve Nature Reserve, Obudu Cattle Ranch
- Edo State : Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) Project
- Gombe & Jigawa State :Wing Over Wetlands (WOW)
- Lagos State: Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC)
- Ogun, Ondo and Osun State: Omo – Oluwa – Shasha Conservation Project
- Plateau State: A. P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI),
- Taraba State: Participatory Forest Management Project, Mambilla and Donga sites,
- Important Bird Area Programme
NCF’s work has made major input into the following policy in Nigeria:
- Development of the National Conservation Strategy – 1984
- Enactment of the Endangered Species Decree – 1985
- Development of the Vision 2010 on the environment – 1997
- Collaborated with the Federal Department of Forestry on the drafting of Nigeria’s National Forestry Law -2000.
- NCF played a lead role in the establishment of the defunct Federal Environmental Protection Agency (FEPA) now Federal Ministry of Environment.
- Facilitated the publication of National University Commission (NUC) endorsed eleven volumes of textual materials on Environmental Education as environmental curriculum resource for tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
- Played supportive role in the establishment of the Nigerian Environmental Study Action Team (NEST).
- Established the Niger-Delta Conservation and Sustainable Development (NDCSD) Project to instigate a paradigm shift from oil and gas dependence to realizing the trade value of biodiversity (2002) among others. (https://ncfnigeria.org/)
The Lekki conservation looked small from outside. First time visitors like myself would very much be surprised at the expansive landscape held inside the conservation.
After getting my card from the membership office I had to book and wait to join the next ‘batch of visitors’ to the conservation. Once it was our turn to get on the tour, we were handed over to a guide, Mr Moyo to take us through our visit into the ‘main Lekki Conservation”
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Videos of Visit to Lekki Conservation
The first video below is from another visitor who took the time to do a full video of his visit to Lekki Conservation Center. He covered the famous Canopy walk way and did several interviews. It’s a complete cover. Just relax, steady your phone and get on the tour with us!
Among the fish species we came across, was the very beautiful and rare orange-red tilapia fish. see below video.