By Gbenga Olarinoye
OSOGBO—GOVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State has called for overhauling of forest management to save Nigeria and Africa from imminent climate change.
He said the continued existence of the black race on the African continent lies in protecting and maintaining the natural rain-forests.
This was even as the delegates from 19 African countries at the African Forest Forum, a regional West and Central African workshop hosted by the Osun State University and held in Osogbo, Osun State, advocated tree planting to save the continent from the possible negative effect of climate change.
The participating countries at the forum include The Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Niger, Benin Republic, Chad, Senegal, Kenya, Tanzania, Guinea Bissau, Cameroon, Liberia, Togo, Congo, Burkina Faso, Cote D’Ivoire, Burundi, Rwanda and the host country, Nigeria.
Addressing participants at the state dinner party organised in honour of the African Forest Forum Training Programme on Modelling Climate and Applications to the Forestry Sector Delegates, Governor Aregbesola said: “It is unfortunate that we are yet to revisit our history by putting all together to revamp the core values and resources residing in the ‘great lake region’ as we forgot that the region has the socioeconomic resources to rescue the entire black race from the present challenges.
“Though we have begun forest management since 1890, in spite of this early knowledge, we have lost 90 percent of our forest resources, informing us on the need to be more conscious and sensitive to forest development.
“We must begin to understand that afforestation remains the only key to recovering our lost vast land because the greatest test to the freak weather we have in this part of the world is to plant trees so as to prevent the possible havoc from the storms.
“Trees require carbon dioxide and give us oxygen, and since we cannot live for a second without trees, we must encourage seriously the planting of trees as this move will go a long way to protect our environment from possible degradation.”