The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria (DAWN) Commission has begun engaging the Osun State University (UNIOSUN) on its Plant Diversity Research Project. The Plant Biodiversity Research Project is an idea birthed to survey and document plant resources in all communities in Osun State, and by extension in the South-West Region of Nigeria, for resources audit, development of conservation strategies and discovery of life support products and services.
Commencing initially in Osun State, the project aims to survey and document plant resources in 100 communities in Osun State for the purpose of developing conservation strategies and supporting the livelihoods of local communities.
The project is led by Dr. Saheed Opeyemi Adebisi, a research scientist in plant molecular genetics, biodiversity conservation, climate solution, and an academic staff at UNIOSUN. He is a trained expert in sustainability projects development, management, monitoring and communication.
Earlier this month, after an initial meeting with Dr. Adebisi, a team from DAWN Commission alongside the project lead made a visit to the Osun State Obas-in-Council to intimate them on the Plant Diversity Research Project and solicit their support towards the successful implementation of the project.
At the meeting, Mr. Wole Oladeji, representing DAWN Commission, spoke on the Commission’s partnership with the Osun State University and the Biodiversity Research Team. He also gave a brief description of the activities of the Commission in respect of the Western Nigeria Security Network also known as Amotekun. Dr. Adebisi who is both the project facilitator and lead researcher explained that the purpose of the visit was to seek access to the communities of the Obas and learn from their stories, experiences and knowledge about indigenous plants, amongst other things.
Following Dr. Adebisi’s remarks, the Obas took turns to commend the research project and recommended actions that can be taken to improve the outcomes of the project. Some of these include cascading the findings of the survey to the grassroots, carrying the Executive arm of government along as the project progresses, exploring the commercial potentials of some plants based in the Region, and assessing the possibilities of creating a herbarium.
Other activities expected to be carried out based on the ongoing project and the partnership between DAWN commission and UNIOSUN include amongst others: conduct of stakeholders meetings for identified groups, large data collection and scrutiny, genetic analysis of collected plants species, establishment of a plant galleria and innovative ways of displaying all the plant species.
Presently efforts are ongoing to formalize the partnership between UNIOSUN and DAWN Commission.
Click here to watch a brief video of the team’s visit to the Osun State Obas-in-Council.