IITA Forest Unit staff gets international award
IITA Forest Unit field supervisor Olukunle Olasupo or Kunle, is the 2017 recipient of the March Christian Award of the prestigious Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI). The award recognizes him for his relentless contribution to Plant Conservation in botanic gardens. This award comes with a cash prize of £1,000 and a Certificate.
Deni Bown, Head, IITA Forest Unit, who nominated Kunle for the award says of Kunle:
“…Kunle’s interest and expertise in collecting fruits, extracting and sowing seeds is outstanding, as evidenced by the Forest Unit’s successful propagation of 137 indigenous tree species of which 28 are listed as threatened on the IUCN Red List, including the critically endangered endemic Cola nigerica Brenan & Keay. His skills and commitment are crucial in developing Nigeria’s first arboretum for ex situ conservation of threatened trees, and in guidance and capacity building for staff, conservation partners, teachers, students, and postgraduates. Kunle never misses an opportunity to explain the importance of trees in conserving biodiversity and providing the basics for sustaining human lives. Whatever someone has in mind when visiting the nursery or enquiring about trees, they are persuaded to plant Nigeria’s trees for Nigerian people!”
Deni officially accepted the award on Kunle’s behalf during the award presentation ceremony at the Global Botanic Garden Congress in Geneva on 30 June. Congratulations, Kunle! IITA is proud of you!