BRIEF HISTORY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FORESTRY
The Department of Social and Environmental Forestry in the Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, was officially inaugurated on the 01 August, 2017 by Professor Abel Idowu OLAYINKA, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Ibadan to commence her statutory functions of Teaching, Research and Community Service.
The Department took its root from the premier University level of forestry training, the defunct Department of Forestry, University of Ibadan, established in 1963 with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations.
As the Forestry Department developed, the philosophy of an integrated approach to the management of renewable natural resources came to be adopted and the Department started to extend its teaching and research into wider areas of natural resources management. At the same time, the need for this approach was recognized at Government level leading to greatly increased demands for specialist administrators with University qualifications. To reflect this need, the Department widened its curricula to include six specializations, namely:- Forest biometrics and remote sensing; Wood Science; Fisheries Management; Wildlife and Range management; Forest Biology and Silviculture; and Forest Economics and Management.
In 1974, the Department changed its name from the rather restrictive "Forestry" to "Forest Resources Management" under which all forms of renewable natural resources may be considered.
Up to June 1977, the Department offered an undergraduate programme extending over three years and leading to a B.Sc. Hons. degree in Forestry. However, as from September 1977, the Department introduced a four-year (8 semesters) under-graduate studies programme leading to the degree of B.Sc. (Forestry) with opportunities for specialization in Forest Resources Management, Wildlife Management or Fisheries Management.
In the period 1967 to 1980, the Departmental annual training output ranged between 13 and 42 graduates including nationals of Cameroon, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambiafrom time to time. The spread of this output testifies to the important roles the Department plays in the development of forestry across Africa.
The SENATE of the University of Ibadan, Nigeria in May, 2010 approved the splitting of Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry into two, namely: (i) Faculty of Agriculture and (ii) Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources as well as the splitting of the Department of Forest Resources Management into the Department of Forest Production and Product and the Department of Social and Environmental Forestry. Subsequently, the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja, Nigeria on 13 July, 2016 ratified the decision of the SENATE to split each of the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry and the Department of Forest Resources Management into two, namely: the Department of Forest Production and Product and the Department of Social and Environmental Forestry.
The Department of Social and Environmental Forestry offers Bachelor of Forestry degree as well asM.Sc., M.Phil. and Ph.D. degree programs in Forest Economics and Governance; Forest Biometrics and Information System as well as Urban and Environmental Forestry. The Department is well poised to develop high level manpower in Forest Economics, Forest Management, Forest Governance and Institutions, Forest Biometrics, Forest Information System, Urban Forestry and Environmental Forestry.