HEAD OF DEPARTMENT’S WELCOME ADDRESS
Special greetings and felicitations from the University of Ibadan; THE FIRST AND THE BEST IN NIGERIA, and our Department of Forest Resources Management which the Federal Government of Nigeria and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) funded and Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations served as the Implementing Agency and diligently established in 1963.
I warmly welcome you, new and returning students to the Department of Forest Resources Management, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.
We are proud of the quality of graduates and Forestry Professionals that we produce. In spite of the dwindling financial resources of the University, we continue to maintain high academic standards. Much more importantly, the staff and students together interact as a family in pursuit of our common goals of academic achievement and professional excellence. The dawn of a new millennium and the positive changes in the political horizon of Nigeria have strengthened our hopes and challenged us to attain greater heights.
The stated aim of the Department was to provide professional personnel qualified in forestry and allied land management. The plan of operation of the Department was signed by the Federal Government and FAO on the 20th March, 1963 and the Department commenced work on the 4th April, 1963. It started with a small, internationally recruited academic staff that held qualifications in Forestry or closely allied disciplines. In 1966, the Department moved into her present permanent building.
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 a greatly increased demand for specialists with University qualifications. To reflect this need, the Department widened its curricula to include six specializations, namely:
i. Forest Biometrics and Remote Sensing;
ii. Forest Biology and Silviculture;
iii. Forest Economics and Management;
iv. Wood Science;
v. Fisheries Management; and
vi. Wildlife and Range Management.
In 1974, the Department changed her name from the rather restrictive ‘Forestry’ to the broad heading of ‘Forest Resources Management’ under which all forms of renewable natural resources were 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 (i.e. 8 semesters) undergraduate study programme leading to the degree of B.Sc. (Forestry) with opportunities for specialization in Forest Resources Management, Wildlife Management or Fisheries Management. The Department of Forest Resources Management in view of the nature of the courses being taught and the services being rendered, made proposals for becoming a Faculty and applied to the University to implement the structure. As a first step, the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Management was created out of the Department of Forest Resources Management in August 1981.
The University of Ibadan Senate has since approved the splitting of the present Department of Forest Resources Management into (i) Department of Forest Production and Products and (ii) Department of Social and Environmental Forestry. The approval was in anticipation of the proposed Faculty of Renewable Natural Resources that will have Four (4) academic departments, namely:
i. Department of Forest Production and Products ;
ii. Department of Social and Environmental Forestry;
iii. Aquaculture and Fisheries Management; and
iv. Wildlife and Ecotourism Management.
A proposal for the splitting of Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry into the Faculties of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources was submitted by the Faculty of Agriculture and Forestry to Academic Planning Unit, University of Ibadan in the year 2010 and was thereafter, approved by the senate for onward submission to the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja.
Between 1963 and now, the Department of Forest Resources Management has graduated many students at B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D. The training received in Forestry and allied courses has since been enabling our alumni and alumnae of the Department of Forest Resources to deal with the increasingly environmental problems of our society. Much more importantly, their intellectual accomplishments and mental perspective also avail them to operate on a more encompassing level outside their areas of specializations.
I wish you a happy and rewarding stay in the Department during the course of your study.
Professor B. O. Agbeja
B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. (Ibadan); Dip. (Finland); Dip. (Rotterdam)
Head of Department
Department of Forest Resources Management
University of Ibadan, Nigeria.