Nigeria LNG Limited established a nature park on Bonny Island to preserve the natural environment of its host communities. The site of the nature park is a pristine natural habitat of interesting fora and fauna prevalent on Bonny Island, some endemic only to Bonny Island.
The park was established in recognition of the importance of the fora and fauna to Bonny people and their aspiration and commitment to keeping a permanent record of their natural heritage and culture. It is also part of NLNG's contribution to national and global conservation, in line with Rio Agenda 21, Ramsar Convention, and Convention on Biological Diversity.
The park, named Finima Nature Park and measuring approximately 1000 hectares, is for conservation, recreation, and research on the fauna, fora and cultural heritage of Bonny Kingdom. At present, the nature reserve is managed by an NGO, the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF). However, in the future, the management of the park will be overseen by a Board of Trustees drawn from the host community and other relevant stakeholders, thereby encouraging community buy-in and sustainability of the initiative.
The reserve area covers the rain forests and mangrove swamps, as well as an ecologically important area of sandy soil with fresh water ponds and tall timber between the swamps and the beach.
This diversity is a good representation of the Niger Delta ecology, which affords a unique opportunity for research and educational activities. Already, the reserve is home to some wildlife species of
high conservation value, a variety of mammals, bird species and reptiles. There have been reported sightings of The African Fish Eagle—Haliaeetus vocifer. Troops of the Mona monkey—Cercopithecus mona—and flocks of the White-face Whistling duck—Dendrocygna viduata—are commonly sighted and are the park's most predominant species.
In addition, Finima Nature Park is home to a number of species classified by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) such as the African Grey Parrot – Psittacus erithacus.
There is steady growth in the population of indigenous species in the park as a result of measures put in place by NLNG which include discouraging hunting and encouraging rescue of captured animals and preservation of natural habitat. This is evident in the more frequent sightings of Osteolaemus tetraspis, the dwarf crocodile, in various parts of the plant, with one healthy crocodile rescued and released in January 2017.
In pursuing its environmental objectives, the company regularly engages with its host community via public enlightenment initiatives. It has initiated forest protection and biodiversity conservation enlightenment campaigns in accordance with recommended EIA mitigation measures.
Finima Nature Park is patrolled by park rangers who prevent encroachment, monitor movement of animals, rescue animals and provide guided tours within the park and adjoining areas. The Park creates an enabling environment for a number of other species to cohabit and procreate; this is evident from increase in number of the Mona monkey—Cercopithecus mona.
The company partners with community-based organisations such as the Bonny Environmental Consultants' Committee (BECC) and Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in outreach programmes to schools, organisations and settlements within Bonny Kingdom with the objective of establishing conservation clubs in primary and post primary schools and entrenching a culture of conservation. In 2017, over 7000 visits to the nature park were recorded, an over 100% increase in the number of visits in 2016.