IITA Forest Center staff named among top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders

16 July 2021

IITA Forest Center Manager and Conservation Biologist, Adewale G. Awoyemi, has been honored as one of the Top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders. The conservationists were selected from 23 African countries in the first-ever Top 100 list for Africa.

Awoyemi was selected among the Top 100 Young African Conservation Leaders.

The award is a collaboration between the Africa Alliance of YMCAs, the World Organization of the Scout Movement, the African Wildlife Foundation, and the World Wildlife Fund. The recognition empowers young, talented Africans and inspires other youth to lead the way to ensure nature and people thrive for generations to come.

According to the organizers, “The Award Certificate is proudly presented to Mr Adewale G. Awoyemi to express our recognition for your outstanding leadership and contribution to conservation in your community, country, and the entire African continent.” This is an honor and recognition of the IITA Forest Center’s good work in ensuring the sustenance of the earth’s natural resources, including plants, animals, microbes, land, water, and air.

Among other conservation initiatives, Awoyemi and his Forest Center team focus on research, education, and awareness creation among schoolchildren and adults. A part of their research focuses on the Ibadan Malimbe Malimbus ibadanensis, a bird endemic to the Ibadan area and classified as endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. This rare bird species, found in the IITA Forest Reserve, Ibadan, is one of the flagship species upon which the conservation work of the IITA Forest Center is based.

IITA Forest Center Manager Adewale G. Awoyemi is an ornithologist and biodiversity conservationist.

Awoyemi leads the Ibadan Malimbe research, which has led to multiple published papers. He recently contested in the Inqaba Genome Challenge https://youtu.be/N__ndqfvebw to raise funding to pursue genetic studies of the Ibadan Malimbe, which will enhance its conservation.

A trained ornithologist, Awoyemi also coordinates the Ibadan Bird Club, a group of nature-lovers, enthusiasts, and conservationists. The group meets monthly for birdwatching as a leisure activity and shares ideas about conserving birds and other biodiversity.