In a groundbreaking initiative aimed at bolstering conservation efforts in Nigeria, the IUCN Species Survival Commission (SSC) and the A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) have joined forces to establish the Center for Species Survival (CSS). This innovative collaboration will transform species conservation and biodiversity understanding in the region.
The CSS, situated within the scenic Amurum Forest Reserve in Jos, Nigeria, was officially inaugurated through the formal signing of an agreement by Dr Jon Paul Rodríguez, Chair of IUCN SSC, and Dr Adams Chaskda, Director of APLORI. With a vision to enhance conservation measures and facilitate harmonious coexistence between humans and nature, the CSS is a significant milestone for both organizations.
At its core, CSS Nigeria aims to address the critical need for detailed, region-specific insights into bird species and biodiversity status. The centre is primed to lead coordinated conservation efforts, offering strategic support and capacity-building initiatives to drive meaningful change. CSS Nigeria strives to elevate conservation practices by cultivating partnerships and expanding knowledge while fostering a sustainable balance between ecosystems and human activity.
Dr Kira Mileham, SSC Director of Strategic Partnerships, emphasized the importance of collaborative action in safeguarding species. As the first-of-its-kind centre in Africa, CSS Nigeria is poised to be a transformative force in advancing species conservation not only in Nigeria but also across West Africa.
With a dual mission, CSS Nigeria aims to enhance regional capacity while driving species conservation at every stage. The centre will provide critical training in Red List assessment, facilitate conservation planning, and actively implement strategic actions. Through its initiatives, CSS Nigeria envisions a future where ecological harmony and sustainability thrive hand in hand.
Dr Adams A. Chaskda, Director of APLORI, underlined the significance of preserving biodiversity for current and future generations. The establishment of the CSS in Nigeria underscores the commitment to safeguarding natural heritage, nurturing local capacity, and fostering a balanced relationship between humanity and the environment.
Central to its objectives, CSS Nigeria will spearhead efforts to evaluate species status and implement conservation action plans nationwide. By coordinating stakeholders, the centre is poised to create the region's inaugural comprehensive National Red List, contributing to the globally recognized IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The launch of the Center for Species Survival in Nigeria serves as a testament to the far-reaching impact of collaborative conservation initiatives. The IUCN Species Survival Commission continues to extend its global reach through the establishment of such centres, fostering partnerships and amplifying expertise to drive effective species conservation strategies.
Article by Jed Mwangi