By Olasunkanmi Akoni
As part of measures to mitigate negative effects of the climate change, as well as protect the environment, the Federal Government has set aside N2 billion of the Ecological Fund for planting of trees across the states in 2018.
Minister of Environment, Usman Jibril, disclosed this at the 4th annual conference of Forestry Association of Nigeria, with the theme: Emerging issues in Sustainable Forest Management: Experiences and lessons for Nigeria, held in Agege area of Lagos.
The minister, who was represented by Dr. Sola Adepoju, a director in the ministry, lamented that the Federal Government does not have enough land to really execute tree-planting campaign across the states and urged state governments and private sector to support the central government by planting more trees.
Jibril noted that deforestation and forest degradation continue to contribute about 17. 4 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions more than the emissions from the transport sector which was about 13.1 per cent.
He said it was in recognition of global concerns, the reality of climate change in the country and the desire of the Federal Government to address the menace of deforestation and forest degradation, that a Presidential Initiative on Afforestation Programme for Economic and Environmental Sustainability was established.
According to Jubril, “It is an intervention measure that seeks to facilitate the prompt and successful implementation of the massive afforestation of the country.
“In order to guarantee sustainable intervention, 60 per cent of the Federal Government’s share of the ecological funds has been set aside towards afforestation and tree-planting initiative.
“Towards this end, millions of seedlings will be raised and planted across all states, local governments and communities in the country. “In consideration that government alone cannot drive and meet our re-afforestation targets, appropriate incentives are being worked out to stimulate private sector and community participation.”
He added that FG had started the formulation of guidelines for Community- Based Forest Management, CBFM, as a tool to encourage private sector and community, participation in forest management.
“This approach calls for greater commitment of governments at all levels to support forest protection and management while creating appropriate mechanism for sustained support for reforestation.