Marsh Award for International Plant Conservation

This Award is run in partnership with Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) and recognises an early/mid-career individual who has made a significant achievement in the conservation of rare and endangered plant species and plant diversity.

BGCI’s vision is a world in which plant diversity is valued, secure and supporting all life. To create this world their mission is: "To mobilise botanic gardens and engage partners in securing plant diversity for the well-being of people and the planet."

The 2017 winner is Kunle Olasupo

Kunle Olasupo is Field Supervisor in the Forest Unit of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria, a programme which carries out projects to protect and restore the forest, reforest degraded areas and propagate indigenous plants. More recently, the Forest Unit has become an in-country partner on a project to assess tree conservation issues and encourage the propagation and planting of indigenous trees across Nigeria.

Kunle became interested in trees following his placement at the Centre for Environment, Renewable Natural Resources Management, Research and Development (CENRAD) where he was trained by world-renowned Dr David Ladipo. He has since taken part in a number of high profile projects which have sought to preserve the conservation of trees.

Kunle is committed to all aspects of his role at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, maintaining the nursery, Ethnobotanical Garden and forest trails and supervising the planting of trees across the projects. He also contributes to project reports and carries out population assessments of threatened trees, before putting plans in place to conserve them and advise staff and visitors on how to do the same.

Pictured: Kunle leading a BGCI training course on ecological restoration at IITA in Nigeria


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