Alhaji Zubairu Gabdo, the paramount ruler, Gashaka Chiefdom, Fombia Kingdom of Taraba State, on Monday, inaugurated the Board of Trustees of the Gashaka Biodiversity Support Initiative (GBSI).
The inauguration was done via a webinar meeting which had as its theme, ”Community based organization issues and implication for rural biodiversity conservation.”
In addition, Gabdo also donated six hectares of land for the building of GBSI head office in Gashaka
The community leader charged the inaugurated Board officials, who are mainly youths from the area, to coordinate the activities of GBSI to enable it achieve its aims and objectives.
According to him, the initiative needed undiluted commitment from partners like the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF), Africa Nature Investors (ANI) and other conservation groups in order to achieve its set goals.
Dr Muhtari Aminu-Kano, Director-General, NCF, thanked the paramount ruler for the gesture, while appreciating him for his foresight and hard work towards ensuring that Nigeria had biodiversity around Gashaka.
“I also commend you for the sacrifice that you made today by donating six hectares of land in your community in support of this initiative.
”This is a worthy commitment that needed a response from all that are in the biodiversity community.
“I will commit my organisation and energy to provide all the support needed to make sure that GBSI achieved its objectives, under your leadership.
The Director-General, also called on Nigerians to support whatever GBSI was doing to make sure that their efforts were worthwhile.
“We need to provide some support to the communities in order for them to derive some benefits from the resources that they have been safe guarding.
“Gashaka community has taken care of resources that cannot be found in some places at considerable costs.
“Places like Kano have degraded their own biodiversity. There cannot be any park around Kano city. ‘’he noted.
Junaid Dikko of the ANI Foundation also hailed Gabdo for the initiative and donation, saying, ‘`if the primary stakeholders are not part and parcel of this by being on the driving seat, your chances of success will be very limited.
“ To that effect, I am very pleased with the involvement of His Royal Highness.
”The commitment he has shown towards driving this project will make it succeed.’’ (NAN)