The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 restated its commitment to support Nigeria and other member states in their efforts to sustain management of forest resources in the sub-region.
The ECOWAS Director of Environment, Dr Johnson Boanuh, said this at the National Consultation Workshop on the Technical and Financial Partners of the Nigerian Forest Investment Programme in Abuja.
“The ECOWAS Commission and its partners will spare no efforts to assist member states in finding solution to the problem of sustainable management of forest resources in our sub region,” Boanuh said.
The director said that the workshop was to support Nigeria in advocating and mobilising resources for the effective implementation of its National Forest Investment Plan.
According to him, this is therefore a decisive and critical period in the member states efforts for creating an enabling environment for the sustainable management of forests and wildlife in our sub region.
Dr Adeshola Adepoju, the Director-General, Forest Research Institute of Nigeria, urged relevant stakeholders in the forest sector to invest in forests plantation to enable the country to achieve 25 per cent forests cover as recommended by Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).
Adepoju, who disclosed that the country had only five percent forests cover, said that President Muhammadu Buhari administration was able to plant over two million seedlings compared with four million trees planted by the previous administrations.
“Before this administration came in, four million trees were planted within the nation’s five per cent cover but going by the green bond arrangement by this administration, over two million seedlings were planted in843.6 hectares land.
“For us to have a safe environment, we need 20 hectares of land to meet the 25 per cent forest cover,” the director-general said.
He said that the workshop was imperative for all relevant stakeholders to have a robust policy on forest Investment. According to him, it will also enhance the implementation of the National Forest Investment Plan.
Adepoju stressed the need for relevant stakeholders to provide clean cooking stoves while implementing the National Forest Investment Plan.
By Deji Abdulwahab