NEST to honour Okali with public lecture
Okali who was Presidents of the Nigerian Academy of Science and Nigerian Field Society; Chairman National Committee for UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme in Nigeria, retired from the University of Ibadan in 2001 after 38 years of university teaching, research and administration, having taught, supervised and mentored many Nigerians and non-Nigerians now in prominent positions in national and international service.
Besides contributing to development of high caliber human resources, and advancing knowledge in many aspects of forest ecology (principally on tree growth rates, water relations, rain forest regeneration and applied ecology in agro-forestry), he has been in the forefront of the development of national awareness and action on environmental resources management and conservation.
As Chairman of MAB Programme in Nigeria, he was instrumental to organizing studies, workshops and state of knowledge publications on the major Nigerian biomes of rain forest such as The Nigerian Rainforest Ecosystem), savanna and wetlands. A comprehensive survey of the biodiversity of rain forest at Omo Biosphere Reserve was also accomplished under his chairmanship of the MAB National Committee.
He carried out the forest studies leading to the setting up of the Cross River National Park as a conservation area of international importance being contiguous with the Korup National Park in Cameroun. Studies by his team produced a comprehensive inventory of the biodiversity as well as guidelines for the wise use of the resources of the Hadejia Nguru Wetlands, contributing to the selection of that site as the first Ramsar site in Nigeria.
As part of his contribution to environmental management focuses on the topical issue of climate change, he led project work on building Nigeria’s response to the global problem. The project sought to identify adaptation options to enhance the national effort at combating poverty while reducing our contribution to causing the problem and the risks from its impact.
Concluded in 2011, the project culminated in the production of a National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action on Climate Change for Nigeria (NASPA-CCN).