" When all the trees have been cut down,
When all the animals have been hunted,
When all the waters are polluted,
When the air is unsafe to breathe,
Only then will you discover
you cannot eat money. "
- Cree Prophecy
WELCOME TO IITA FOREST PROJECT SITE
To protect and restore rainforest within the IITA Ibadan campus, reforest degraded areas, catalogue forest resources (focusing on birds, butterflies and medicinal plants) and utilize the information for environmental and conservation activities.
Nigeria has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world. According to the Forest Resources Assessment (FAO 2005), it has lost almost 80% of its primary forests since 1990 (click here to view the source). Unless remaining forests are protected, the country’s own National Biodiversity and Action Plan (2008) predicts that by 2020 nothing will remain. Deforestation is currently 3.5% per annum (11%) and less than 10% of the land has forest cover. Saving the last forests in Nigeria is vital to protect biodiversity and ensure the health of its soils, water courses, natural resources and people.
The IITA Forest Reserve is one of the few remaining forested areas in western Nigeria. It covers 350 ha. and lies within the 1000-ha. campus which includes other wooded areas as well as a reservoir, eight lakes and ponds, wetlands, farmland and landscaped grounds, giving a rich diversity of habitats for plants and other living things. Over 200 species of birds and 220 butterfly species have been recorded since the Forest Project began, and there are 440 species on the flora checklist, of which 90% have medicinal uses in West Africa. These include our flagship species which are both rare and spectacular! We invite you to browse through our photo gallery, check out our blog, dip into our free downloads, and much more