RAIN FOREST PRESERVATION: VC PLEDGES VARSITY’S READINESS FOR ROBUST PARTNERSHIP
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar, Prof. Florence Obi has promised to forge a robust partnership with the British High Commission to harness the rich potentials available in the tropical rain forest of Cross River State.
Prof. Florence Obi gave the promise when a team from the British High Commission led by the Deputy Commissioner, Abuja, H/E Gill Atkinson paid her a courtesy call in her office recently.
She expressed the hope that the partnership with the Commission will throw up more opportunities for collaboration with the staff of the Forestry Division and other relevant bodies.
The Vice Chancellor said the mutual collaboration will further attract proficient input from the academic community which will spell better focus and sponsorship, and create more environmental awareness
Prof Obi stated that a deep awareness of the potentials of the environment will check the menace of the high incidence of logging and other anti-climate activities which has been exacerbated by the huge dependence of the locals on the forest-based activities following the richness of its resource.
. Speaking earlier, the Deputy Commissioner, British High Commission, Abuja, H/E Gill Atkinson, while expressing the team’s appreciation for the very warm welcome accorded them, said that Cross River State is a border community blessed with very rich potentials in terms of natural vegetation and forest reserves, noting that Rangers depended on the forest resource for their healthful well-being.
Describing the Cross River National Park in Boki Local Government Area as an 'Amazing Sight', Gill Atkinson informed the Vice-Chancellor of their visit to the park highlighting the benefits derivable therefrom.
In a related remark, the Head, Climate Change and Energy, West Africa, Sean Melbourne while acknowledging that Cross River State has the oldest rainforest in the world, solicited for a renewed sense of collaboration for a sustainable livelihood for generations yet unborn.
Mr Melbourne called for the formulation of academic programmes centered on rainforest protection to enhance increased learning on the subject at the state and grassroots levels.
He informed the Vice-Chancellor that at the end of their Assessment Tour, ideas will be concretized on how to invest in the environment such that immense contribution will be made in climate change.
Lending his voice to the discussion, the Head, Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Coordinator, Unical Carbon Innovation Centre (UCIC), Dr Raphael Offiong said the Centre is working towards a climate network in Nigeria, Africa, and the rest of the world.
Dr Offiong stated that UCIC should be empowered as a Centre of excellence within the University of Calabar that will collaborate with several Faculties and Institutes in Carbon Innovations and Climate Change.
He disclosed that the Centre has been liaising with communities in Oban, Akamkpa Local Government Area, and other areas with relevant potentials, adding that, the leadership of the National Park is open to collaborations.
The Coordinator of UCIC also informed that plastic houses, that is fireproof, can be fabricated from materials harnessed from forest potentials but that the initiative is being hampered by the inadequate support for the relevant technology,
The Deputy Commissioner was accompanied on the visit by the 2nd Secretary Prosperity, Mamadou Diallo, Political Adviser, Niger Delta, John Kekeh and the Security Manager, Tope Aroso.
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