In Lagos, States, wood exporters seek partnership on forest regeneration drive

woodForest depletion and attendant ecological issues are being tackled as Tropical Wood exporters Association of Nigeria, (TWEAN), in collaboration with some state governments have embarked on massive forestation programmes to protect the nation’s flora and fauna.

In line with the Federal Government’s policy on deforestation – cut one and plant two trees, the wood exporters said they are planting seven tress to replace each one felled in selected participating states.

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, TWEAN Secretary General, Joseph Odiase, said the group in collaboration with some state governments have embarked on massive forestation programme with a view to arresting the menace of deforestation.

Accordingly, Odiase disclosed that the group has acquired over 1,000 hectares of land for tree planting between Ogun and Ekiti states, while discussing with the governments of Osun, Kogi, Kwara, Taraba, Benue, Edo, Akwa-Ibom Jigawa, Katsina, Niger, Oyo and Ondo states to provide similar access.

He assured that wood exporters are ready and willing to partner with the Federal Government to ensure that the effect of climate change in Nigeria was reduced to barest minimum.

Odiase hinted that the Processed Wood Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria, is also collaborating with TWEAN on the forest regeneration drive.

He noted that deforestation has become a big issue globally and especially in Nigeria, where policy enforcement is not very strict, pledging the wood exporters’ support to protect and regenerate the nation’s forest.

He said: “We must protect and preserve the forest for this and future generation because this forest also help in the sustenance and preservation of the environment.

“We are working with the Ministry of the Environment as they have promised to provide technical support when it is needed.“In as much as our businesses are important to us, we cannot jeopardise the environment for economic gains because we are not the only ones operating in the nation’s economy.

“We will not only abide with cut one plant two trees policy of government, we are also embarking on a massive forest cultivation programme.

“The project is a fulfilment of our commitment to the honourable Minister of Environment at the national stakeholders’ meeting on forestation.”
President of TWEAN, Ibitayo Omotoye, said the group had written to state governments soliciting collaboration for the replanting exercise in their domains.

Omotayo said: “We are ready to support government through the tree re-planting exercise just as we hope to do the official flag off before the end of the month.”

The Chairman of Processed Wood Producers and Marketers, Ademola Oyeleke, also pledged the association’s support to grow the wood export industry without jeopardising the economy and the environment.

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