Deforestation: Edo Advances With Conservation, Devt Of Forests, Hosts Experts, Other Stakeholders

Article from Independent Newspaper, June 2,2023

BENIN – The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is gathering the crème de la crème of the nation’s forestry ecosystem and other stakeholders to chart a new path and strengthen strategies to tackle deforestation and forest degradation and enhance the conservation and development of the state’s forest assets.

The governor, at the inauguration of the Edo State Forestry Commission, will bring together stakeholders including forest experts, international organizations, research institutes, zoological parks, non-governmental organizations, the academia, wood processing companies, plantation partners, oil palm companies, timber associations, bench millers, and traditional rulers, among others to review gains and strengthen the government’s efforts at the conservation, management, and development of Edo forests.

The Commission headed by Edward Obiaw as Acting Chairman will be inaugurated on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, at the Okomu National Park in Udo, Ovia South West Local Government Area of the State.

Industry experts expected at the event are Prof. M.E Isikhuemen, a Professor of Forest Resources and Wildlife Management at the University of Benin (UNIBEN); Mr. Abraham Baffoe, Africa Regional Director, Proforest; Mr. Tunde Morakinyo, Executive Director, Africa Nature Investors (ANI) Foundation, and Dr. Chris Okafor, Senior Program Manager Sustainable Trade Investment (IDH).

Others are Mr. Rasheed Sarumi, – Chairman, ESOPP Agro Allied Limited; Mr. Billy Ghansah, Agric. Coordinator, Okomu Oil Palm Company; Mr. Lawrence Osaze, the Conservator of Park, Okomu National Park and Mr. Friday Aiguokhian, the Chairman, Edo State Sawmillers Association.

According to the Acting Chairman of the Commission, “Forest reserves were set aside for countless reasons including preserving natural resources for future generations. However, over the years, human activities have led to the loss and degradation of forest lands, and the forest reserves in Edo State are not left out.

“To reverse this trend, sustainable management of our forest resources, regeneration of degraded forest lands, and conservation of our natural forest resources must be carried out strategically.

“It is for this reason that the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki, saw the establishment of the Edo State Forestry Commission by law assented to on the 2nd of November, 2022.”

He added, “This Commission will be inaugurated by His Excellency on Wednesday, June 7, 2023, to drive the government’s plan for the conservation, management, and development of Edo forests.”

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