In July 2019, the A.P. Leventis Ornithological Research Institute (APLORI) organised two separate 30-days Introductory Ornithology Field Courses in Weppa Farm, Edo state and Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi state Nigeira. These courses were funded by National Geographic as part of the Nigerian Bird Atlas Project (NiBAP) and aimed to train young Nigerians from diverse backgrounds on the biology, identification, field ethics, census techniques, current issues in bird and biodiversity conservation in Nigeria and ecological data analysis.
Architect Loveth Ihotu Adejo was one of 30 participants who won the Nat Geo supported scholarships to attend this field course. She attended the course in Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi in July 2019.
Loveth has always enjoyed nature and always seeks opportunities to learn about her environment. As an Architect, she is knowledgeable about the built environment, but has always been interested in learning to integrate her love for nature in her designs.
Architect Loveth Ihotu Adejo
She was motivated to apply for the Introductory Ornithology Field Course because of her belief that:
....a deeper knowledge of the environment and its sustainable development will be a great advantage to my field as nature inspire art and getting acquitted with nature I believe will influence my conceptual creative process.
It has been over a year since she participated in the Introductory Ornithology Field Course in Yanakri Game Reserve in Bauchi state, Nigeira. She recounts below her experience during and since completing this course:
It's been one year since the ornithology field course in yankari game reserve. I knew that experience was going to change my life forever. Coming from an architectural background, a lot of people did not really understand my desire and motivation to get involved with Ornithology. I first learnt about the field of ornithology from my kid sister who is immensely passionate about birds, nature and the environment. Interacting with her and seeing her work to promote environmental education, especially with kids, I also began to see why it is important that we all learn more about the environment and to act more positively towards its protection. This motivated me to apply and participate in the One month field course.
As an Architect, I work with a real estate company in Abuja. Since completing the field course, the knowledge and experience that I gained from the field course now finds its way into my powerpoint presentations of Arcihtectural designs. I also find myself taking time during these presentations to create awareness about the importance of our biodiversity and the need to protect it. I think this is really important because, as developers, we have a major effect on the environment and this impact continues to increase with increasing and rapid urbanization in Nigeria.
Since participating in the course, I find that I now tend to ask myself: How can I (and my colleagues) help mitigate the changes in our ecosystem? At every new construction site, I now try to advocate for the conservation of the natural resources (especially trees); requesting that we do not remove trees at the site if we do not really need to do so, and to plant new ones to replace any trees that have been removed, so that birds don't lose their habitats.
It has indeed been a wonderful experience so far and I enjoy that I am going beyond just Architecture to being more sensitive about the environment and its biodiversity. I have my particpation at the Introductory Ornithology Field course to thank for this new outlook. And as I continue to take opportunities to apply the knowledge and experience gained from this course, I think it is helping me create an outstanding niche in the Architectural industry. This impact may currently be slow and low-key, but I believe that this impact will continue to increase in the future.
Lastly, I now have one more really interesting thing to do while working at a construction site as I now also often take time to try and identify the birds around the construction site.
My Yankari Field Course experience is one that I remain grateful for and which I know will remain with me for a very long time.
Arch. Loveth Ihotu Adejo granting an interview during the Introductory Ornithology Field Course in Yankari Game Reserve, Bauchi State, Nigeria
The report was sent in by Architect Loveth Ihotu Adejo and edited by Sam Ivande