Lagos, Sept. 27, 2020
As the World marks the 2020 Tourism Day, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) on Sunday called on tourists to savour the rich natural heritage domiciled at the Lekki Conservation Centre (LCC) in Lagos.
Oladepo Soneye, Head Media, NCF, told our Correspondent that the LCC is an urban jungle with a thrilling experience.
The theme for the 2020 World Tourism Day is ” Tourism and Rural Development.”
It encourages the celebration of the unique role played by tourism in job creation in small towns and rural areas.
Soneye said that the Centre was home to the longest canopy walk in Africa, tree house, nature station, fish ponds, floor games, swamp lookout and other relaxation facilities.
”LCC is an urban jungle in the heart of Lagos, is a centre of excellence in environmental research and education, reserved as a sanctuary for the rich flora and fauna of the Lekki Peninsula.
” This 78-¬hectare facility is the only one of its kind in Lagos State.
”Foreign Ambassadors, top government officials, corporate organisations visit the place for team bonding.
”Students, pupils and undergraduates visit the place for environmental education,” Soneye said.
According to him, LCC has grown into one of Africa’s most diverse urban nature parks.
”For 30 years, the center has catered for over two million tourists.
” LCC has become a strong advocacy tool used in promoting forest regeneration, environmental literacy and campaigns.
”LCC was established by NCF to focus on four thematic areas which includes conservation, environmental education, research and ecotourism.
”LCC has evolved from core conservation into an emerging ecotourism destination making it to be tagged as Pearl of Ecotourism in Nigeria,” Soneye said.
He said that the ecotourism potential of LCC was acknowledged during the Nigeria Tourism Award where it bagged the best tourism site in Nigeria for 2019.
The NCF spokesman said the centre recorded over 95, 000 tourists in 2019.
He said that as part of measures to deepen its engagement with tourists LCC developed Information Education and Communication (IEC) materials focusing on different species that were found within the reserve.
Soneye said that as a resource centre, LCC has been championing campaigns on the mitigation of the effects of climate change.
” The students visiting the center are opportuned to be educated on environmental issues such as plastic waste, climate change and emerging issues within environmental education space.
” The center has continued to play host to beauty pageants, musical video shootings, movie scenes, reality shows etc among which are Miss Earth beauty pageant; Agatha Amata at 20; among others.
”LCC has a Rotunda, a hall that can sit 150 people for meeting.
” The nature reserve is a savannah that reptiles, Mona monkeys and different species of birds, species of plants and insects are found.
”Because of its swampy nature, there is a wooden board walkway through which tourists and researchers make their way into the forest reserve,” Soneye said.
The LCC was established by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in 1992.
The project is being funded by Chevron Nigeria, Ltd.