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New life for the Conservation of the Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands: The Hadejia-Nguru Wetlands Conservation Centre (HNWCC), in Nguru, Northern Nigeria, is upgraded with assistance from the UNEP-GEF “Wings Over Wetlands Project”

19-May-2008

The HNWCC in Nguru, Northern Nigeria has been fully renovated, its office and accommodation facilities upgraded, and provided with state-of-the art IT and communication equipment. After a period of reduced activity, the centre is now fully active again and run by a permanent team of four NCF (Nigerian Conservation Foundation) staff, now reachable through a satellite internet connection on site. In the framework of the WOW project, the NCF team is working with local community groups, local authorities and national research institutions on a wide range of programmes on wise use of wetlands and conservation of migratory waterbirds.

NCF’s HNWCC is one of Nigeria’s premier conservation centres with a long and distinguished history of conservation in this globally important wetland complex. Work at the centre started in 1989, with technical support from RSPB, BirdLife International (then ICBP), IUCN and NCF. The recent upgrade of the centre aims to re-vitalise the important conservation, educational and awareness work, particularly in light of the recent designation of two Additional Ramsar sites in the area in April 2008 (the Dagona Waterfowl Sanctuary and the Baturiya Wetlands Reserve), in addition to the existing Marma Channel Ramsar Site.

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
The NCF team at the centre is led by Mohammed Garba Boyi. Mohammed and his team are looking forward to national and international collaboration to support their conservation work. Their priorities include:

• Recent material for the centre’s library (e.g. recent publications on wetlands ecology and conservation, waterbirds identification guides, community-based conservation programmes, wise use of wetlands, awareness and educational materials on wetlands conservation and migratory birds in English language, etc);

• Optical equipment (binoculars and telescopes) to be used in educational and research activities;

• The centre welcomes national and international researchers and volunteers with expertise in waterbird identification & census techniques, to support its local team during the annual Waterbirds Census (January-February every year). The centre can provide accommodation and logistical support, in exchange for training for local students and junior staff of the NCF.

• The centre also welcomes resident international volunteers who can assist the local NCF team with the further upgrading of the centre’s outreach programme, including e.g. the organization of educational and awareness activities with local schools and teachers, and development of new awareness and outreach materials tailored to the local context.

For additional information please contact Mohammed Boyi (mgboyi@yahoo.com) in Nguru, Nigeria.

Wings over Wetlands is a joint effort between UNEP/GEF (The Global Environment Facility), Wetlands International, BirdLife International, the UNEP/AEWA (African Eurasian Waterbirds Agreement), The German Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), UNEP/WCMC (World Conservation Monitoring Centre) and a range of donors and local partners along the African-Eurasian Flyways. For additional information on the WOW project, the role of NCF and the HNWCC, please visit www.wingsoverwetlands.org

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