4 Jun 2012

Huge loss to conservation in Africa - The late Prof Emmanuel Obot

By Venancia.Ndoo
With deep sorrow and regrets, the BirdLife International Africa Partnership and Secretariat learned about the passing on of Professor Emmanuel Obot, Executive Director of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (BirdLife in Nigeria), ex-CAP Chair and former member of the Africa Regional Committee, in the ill-fated Dana Air plane crash that took place on June 3 in Lagos, Nigeria. The current CAP chair, Mark Anderson of BirdLife South Africa, stated: “I am absolutely shocked by this very sad news. I am devastated. It seems like yesterday that he said some of the closing words at CAP 2012 in Nairobi.” Dr Marco Lambertini, BirdLife International Chief Executive, wrote: “I am speechless and devastated by this tragic news.” Dr Julius Arinaitwe, Regional Director of the BirdLife Africa Partnership Secretariat, said: “This is extremely shocking and our collective thoughts are with NCF and the family of the Late Prof Obot  during this difficult time. Many members of BirdLife have been touched by Prof Obot.” Posting from NCF website With gratitude to God and total submission to His will, the Board of Trustees, National Executive Council, Management and staff of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) announce the shocking passing away of our Executive Director, Professor Emmanuel Asuquo Obot. Professor Emmanuel Obot met his untimely death during the ill-fated Dana flight crash in Lagos on the 3rd June, 2012. A renowned Professor of Botany, Professor Emmanuel  Obot during his life time contributed immensely to environmental issues and sustainable development in Africa in general and Nigeria in particular. A researcher of international repute, he worked with the National Institute for Fresh Water Fishery Research and coordinated biological research during the establishment phase of the Cross River National Park at Okwango. As a lecturer, the Professor had several years of teaching experience at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, the Rivers State University of Science and Technology as well as the Nigerian Defence Academy among others. He was author of several published books and journals. He was also the editor of the Nigerian field. Until his passing away, he was the NCF’s Executive Director, a position he held for about 10 years. Professor Obot represented Nigeria at many international conferences and participated in the negotiation and conclusion of several treaties and conventions related to nature conservation He was a member of World Conservation Union Commission on Environmental, Economic and Social policy where he served as the Chairman of its committee on the “Theme on the Social Environmental Accountability of the Private Sector”. The Nigerian Conservation Foundation has lost a gem. We pray for the peaceful repose of the soul of this unsung hero of the nature conservation and sustainable development. Our thoughts and prayers  go to the family of Professor Obot as well as to the families of other victims of the tragic Crash. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace.