By Godwin Oritse
TROPICAL Wood Exporters Association of Nigerian (TWEAN) in partnership with thirteen state governments has commenced moves to regenerate the nation’s forests.
The exporters have adopted a policy of planting seven trees for every tree that is cut, which is higher that the federal government policy of plating two trees for every tree that is.
Disclosing this to newsmen in Lagos, TWEAN Secretary General, Mr. Joseph Odiase said that the group in collaboration with some state governments have embarked on massive forestation programme with a view to arresting the menace of deforestation.
Odiase said that between Ogun and Ekiti states, the group has acquired over 1,000 hectares of land for tree planting..
The group scribe hinted that Osun, Kogi,Kwara, Taraba, Benue, Edo, Akwa-Ibom Jigawa, Katsina, Niger, Oyo and Ondo states were in discussions with exporters to create tree farms in the states.
He explained 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.
Besides wood exporters, the Processed Wood Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria is also deeply involved in the forest regeneration drive.
He explained that issue of deforestation is the concern of every Nigerian adding that wood exporters will support government in the move to regenerate the nation’s forest.
“We must protect and preserve the forest for the present and future generations because these forests also help in the sustenance and preservation of the environment.
“We are working with the Ministry of 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 jeopardize the environment for economic gains because we are not the only ones operating in the nation’s economy.
“We will not only abide with the government policy of plating two tree for every one cut, we are also embarking on a massive forest cultivation programme.