The Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources took off on August 01, 2017 following the approval of the National Universities Commission Abuja for the splitting of the former Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry into Faculty of Agriculture and Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources on 13 July, 2016. However, the journey of this great faculty began in 1963, when the Federal Government of Nigeria and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) provided fund to establish the Department of Forestry at the University of Ibadan and requested that FAO should midwife the project. The FAO established the Department of Forestry in April, 1963 as a department in the then Faculty of Agriculture. That same year, the then Faculty of Agriculture assumed the new name Faculty of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Science, with the addition of four other Departments to its programme. These were departments of Forestry, Veterinary Anatomy and Physiology, Veterinary Medicine and Surgery and Veterinary Pathology.
In 1975, all the Veterinary Science programmes moved out to form Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The faculty adopted the name Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry.
The FAO laid a solid foundation for the Department of Forestry throughout the two (2) phases of the UNDP/FAO Forestry Project in 1963-1968 and 1968-1972. In the last three years of the first phase, Nigerian counterpart staff were recruited and awarded fellowships for further training abroad in reputable institutions. In 1972, the Nigerian staff took over from the UNDP/FAO staff.
Wildlife and ecosystems were identified for primary attention during the second phase (1968-1972) and international staff was engaged for that purpose, while a Nigerian was recruited and enjoyed a training fellowship in the United Kingdom. Shortly after the departure of the international staff in 1972, the department’s mandate was expanded to include studies in Fisheries Management. In 1974, the name of the Department was changed from Forestry to Forest Resources Management, with B.Sc. degree awarded in Forest Resources Management, and three distinct options in Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries Management.
On August 1, 1981, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management was created out of the Department of Forest Resources Management. In 2012, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management was split into two: Department of Aquaculture and Fisheries Management and Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Management.
On July 13, 2016, the National Universities Commission approved the splitting of the Department of Forest Resources Management into two: Department of Forest Production and Products and Department of Social and Environmental Forestry. Approval was also given to split the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry into Faculty of Agriculture, with five departments, and Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources, with four departments:
Aquaculture and Fisheries Management
Forest Production and Products
Social and Environmental Forestry
Wildlife and Ecotourism Management
The Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources thus emerged from the Department of Forestry after 54 years and 3 months of development.
Staff within the faculty are well trained in their various fields of expertise in renewable natural resources and have served international and local organisations, such as FAO, UNDP, IFAD, World Bank, AfDB, Commonwealth Forestry Association (CFA), CORAF/WECARD, Worldfish Centre, AU-IBAR, African Fisheries Reform Mechanism (AFRM), WAAPP, Afri-FishNet, Marine Stewardship Council, Federal Department of Forestry, Federal Department of Fisheries, National Parks Services, Fisheries Society of Nigeria (FISON), Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), and Catfish Farmers Association of Nigeria (CAFAN). This is an indication of the competencies of our trainers and, indeed, our relevance to local, regional and global manpower needs.
The new faculty, through its departments, has been engaged in cutting-edge research and will continue to contribute to sustainable development to meet the SDGs to improve food security and support government efforts to eradicate poverty, hunger, malnutrition and unemployment through its entrepreneurship-driven programmes. It will continue to expand the frontiers of knowledge in renewable natural resources and provide leadership for other institutions in Africa. It will equally continue to collaborate with other relevant institutions at the global level to ensure rational utilisation, exploitation and sustainable use of renewable natural resources.
Professor Bamidele Oluearotimi Omitoyin
Dean, Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources