GBIF-BID Project Ends on High Note, Principal Investigator Recounts Success

Principal Investigator for the GBIF-BID Project on “Expanding the visibility of the Lagos Herbarium through Digitization and Mobilization of Plant Specimen Data”, Dr Temitope Onuminya says about fifteen thousand (15,000) Plant Specimen Data was mobilized during the exercise.

Speaking at the “End of Project Stakeholders’ Engagement Meeting” which held on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at the Faculty of Science Boardroom, Dr. Onuminya who shared key achievements of the Project said a User-Friendly Electronic Identification key was developed for easy identification of plant species.

The project, according to Dr. Onuminya also provided insights into Spatio-temporal distribution of plant species for improved conservation schemes, promoted data sharing and collaboration among partnering institutions. It also gave room for capacity-building workshops for selected Conservationists, Policy Makers as well as officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Environment in key areas of the project.

As part of recommendations, Dr Onuminya advocated a review and update of extant regulations and guidelines in Lagos State to adequately protect the flora and fauna in the state.

She solicited a stakeholder advocacy campaign with a view to encouraging better use of wetlands and forested areas to ensure its sustainability.

Dr Onuminya also called for public-private and institutional partnerships in implementing conservation targets which will reduce biodiversity loss and promote sustainability.

In separate remarks, Professor Liasu Ogunkamni who spoke on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Folasade Ogunsola, FAS, and the Dean, Faculty of Science, Prof Elijah Oyeyemi alongside Dr Akeem Kadiri who represented the Head of Department of Botany, Dr Omobolanle Ade-Ademilua showered encomia on the Principal Investigator for the commitment and successful completion of the project despite the challenges.

While appreciating all funding agencies and partners, Prof. Ogunkanmi and Dr. Kadiri said through the project, the UNILAG Herbarium has become fully digitized and more visible thereby making the Department of Botany a force to reckon with in the field of Plant Sciences.

Contributors who appraised the project included delegates from partnering institutions and students. They commended the Principal Investigator for her commitment to the project, for maintaining standards and for the quality outcomes.

They adjudged the project an eye-opener and advocated more concerted efforts towards promoting plant conservation, especially at the grassroots.

Tagged “Expanding the visibility of the Lagos Herbarium through Digitization and Mobilization of Plant Specimen Data”, the project which commenced in April 2021 aimed to digitize and publish information from preserved vascular plant collections as well as associated metadata and images at the University of Lagos Herbarium to ensure access for conservation assessments, policy-making and stakeholder use.

It was funded to the tune of €18,850 through the Institution-Level biodiversity data mobilization grants by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF)-Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) and the European Union.

Partners in the project included the Lagos State Ministry of Environment, the Lagos State Parks and Gardens Agency (LASPARK) and the Lagos State University (LASU) among several others.

Here is a pictorial highlight of the meeting.

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