IITA partners with Inqaba Biotec and Redclay to mitigate climate crisis in new tree genome sequencing initiative
As the world consistently commits to halting the downward trend of biodiversity loss through constant advocacies, national commitments, research, discussions, and reviews, IITA Forest Center, Inqaba Biotech West Africa Limited, and Redclay Advisory have come together to contribute to this initiative by sequencing the genome of 28 tree species native to Africa. The three partners signed an MoU to commence work on 9 December, coinciding with the ongoing UNCOP15 talks to protect 30% of the world’s land, oceans, and ecosystems.
Why trees? The loss of biodiversity and climate disruptions are interconnected, and trees play a significant role in protecting us from climate change and sustaining biodiversity, as many living creatures source their food, medicine, and shelter from trees. Studying the genetic resources of these trees will contribute to improving soil fertility, regulating atmospheric temperature, and providing shade, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services. Sequencing the genome of these tree species will protect them from extinction risk, and cause a ripple effect of the conservation of flora and fauna, sustain cultural values, improve human livelihoods, and empower people and nations economically.