For five years, from early 2010 to the end of 2014, the IITA Forest Reserve was managed by the IITA Forest Project. Funded by the A. G. Leventis Foundation, the project set up a nursery and pioneered the propagation of trees to restore the forest and reforest areas no longer required for agriculture. The project also compiled checklists of forest species, focusing on birds, butterflies, and plants – especially medicinal plants – and published guidebooks on these topics. Environmental education and training were prioritised, especially for schoolchildren and students.
The aims and activities of the project were further publicised through a website www.reforest-iita.org. Another achievement was to develop an ethnobotanical garden to showcase medicinal plants of Yorubaland. The centrepiece of this lovely garden, which was opened in December 2014, is a traditional thatched building known as an aere. It was constructed with funds raised by the Kakofoni Arts Foundation which held a Reforestation Ball and fashion show in the Muson Centre, Lagos, to support the work of the Forest Project.
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