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Biodiversity and Nature Conservation

In 2019, Finima Nature Park celebrated 20 years of existence, as NLNG celebrated 20 years of uninterrupted production and 30 years of incorporation. The park was established on Bonny Island by NLNG in 1999. The site of the nature park is a pristine natural habitat of interesting flora and fauna prevalent on Bonny Island, some endemic only to the Island.

The park was established in recognition of the importance of the flora and fauna to Bonny people and their aspiration and commitment to keeping a permanent record of their natural heritage and culture. It is also part of NLNG's contribution to national and global conservation, in line with Rio Agenda 21, Ramsar Convention, and Convention on Biological Diversity. 

The park measures approximately 1000 hectares and is presently being managed by an NGO, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF). However, the plan is for i, the management of the park will be overseen by a Board of Trustees drawn from the host community and other relevant stakeholders in the future, thereby encouraging community buy-in and sustainability of the initiative.

The reserve area covers the rain forests and mangrove swamps, as well as an ecologically important area of sandy soil with fresh water ponds and tall timber between the swamps and the beach.

The reserve is home to some wildlife species of high conservation value, a variety of mammals, bird species and reptiles. There have been reported sightings of the African Fish Eagle (Haliaeetus vocifer). Troops of the Mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona), and flocks of the White-face Whistling Duck (Dendrocygnaviduata) are commonly sighted and are the park's most predominant species. 

In addition, Finima Nature Park is home to a number of species classified by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) such as the African Grey Parrot – Psittacus erithacus. There is steady growth in the population of indigenous species in the park as a result of measures put in place by NLNG which include discouraging hunting and encouraging rescue of captured animals and preservation of their natural habitat. This is evident in the more frequent sightings of Osteolaemus tetraspis, the dwarf crocodile.

Finima Nature Park is patrolled by park rangers who prevent encroachment, monitor movement of animals, rescue animals and provide guided tours within the park and adjoining areas. The Park creates an enabling environment for a number of species to cohabit and procreate; this is evident from increase in number of the Mona monkey (Cercopithecus mona). 

The company partners with community-based organisations such as the Bonny Environmental Consultants' Committee (BECC) and Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in outreach programmes to schools, organisations and settlements within Bonny Kingdom establishing conservation clubs in primary and post primary schools thereby entrenching a culture of conservation. 

Research and Development

The Park also serves as a field laboratory for researchers and a vehicle for environmental education. Indeed, the diversity of Finima Nature Park is a good representation of the Niger Delta ecology, which affords a unique opportunity for research and educational activities. The park, in conjunction with research institutions, regularly conducts surveys, mainly using cut lines and study plots, to establish baselines for monitoring changes in species composition and numbers. Research so far conducted in the park are in the following areas: Environment, mammals and wildlife, herpetology, vegetation and carbon stock assessment. 

The Wetlands Connection

On August 21, 2019, Finima Nature Park was designated an internationally acclaimed centre for Wetland Education and therefore a member of Wetlands Link International.
This makes it one of the 350 Wetland Centres in the six continents of the world and the second in Nigeria to become a member of Wetlands Link.

Finima Nature Park: Major Milestones 

  • Helped offset NLNG’s carbon footprint across its operation to the tune of about 247,158.78 MgTCO2e in 2019.
  • Has served as a natural barrier protecting over 100,000 people in Finima and Bonny against damage caused by flooding arising from ocean surge.
  • Conservation clubs in 45 schools with membership base of over 2,000 pupils established. 
  • Mangrove reforestation effort with about 3,000 seedlings planted across the boundary between the park and the ocean as a natural barrier. 
  • Institutionalised as a recognised Ramsar Site of international importance; listing as River State Tourism Site is ongoing. 
  • Hosts over 20,000 visitors annually, comprising of local and international tourists; primary, secondary and tertiary school students, families, researchers, etc., This boosts ecotourism in Nigeria.
  • Hosts congregation of migratory waterbirds annually. 

For more information, visit the Finima Nature Park website.