FG pledges commitment to promote, accelerate sustainable forest management

The federal government has pledged to be committed to global, regional and sub-regional consensus to promote and accelerate progress on sustainable forest management.

Minister of Environment Balarabe Abbas Lawal, who represented the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, made this known at the 1st International Conference on Afforestation and Reforestation held in Brazzsville in Congo.

President Tinubu said the conference is apt taking into consideration the contribution of Africa’s deforestation around the world.

“We are all here to remedy the situation by bringing together leading experts, policymakers, researchers and practitioners from around the globe to share knowledge, exchange ideas and foster collaborations.

He emphasized that the goal is to develop and implement innovative and scientific strategies for afforestation and reforestation which will in turn restore degraded lands, enhance biodiversity and mitigate the impacts of climate change.

“Regional and global cooperation is imperative and will foster development of appropriate regional transformative policy and legal framework capable of mitigating the impacts of climate change and through initiatives like this we will accomplish progressive adoption and implementation of climate smart agriculture practices that would assist in striking balance between food security and sustainable forest management,” he stressed.

President Tinubu added that Nigeria has contributed to the reversal of forest cover loss through sustainable forest management and massive afforestation.

“As part of our determination to upscale forest financing and increase forest cover, Government has recently approved the sum of 8.5 million US Dollars under the Presidential Initiative on Afforestation.

He noted that these funds are mainly for the afforestation and restoration of degraded forests and other critical landscapes across the country.

He said: “This is in addition to other similar programmes like the Great Green Wall Pan African Program and Agro-Climatic Resilience Semi-Arid Landscape (ACReSAL) being implemented resulting in the restoration of over 1.5 million hectares of degraded forests including establishment of over 1,428.9km Shelterbelts covering 4,286 hectares, empowerment of more than 200,000 forest community members and creation of more than 3 million jobs for our youths.

He, however, stated that relevant policy and legislative framework are being strengthened in response to the current and emerging circumstances we are faced with.

“We have recently placed an interim suspension on the export of wood-based products to enable adequate appraisal of the process and ultimately emplacement of a sustainable forest management trade complaint system without jeopardizing progress in the implementation of the UNSPF, NDC, and other global agreements.

President Tinubu called on non government organizations, corporate and private organizations, civil societies and communities to strive and achieve the common goal of increasing global forest cover.