By Gabriel Enogholase – Benin
African Palm Oil Initiative (APOI) has commended the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on his commitment to ensuring sustainable oil palm production and reforestation in the state.
The facilitator of APOI in Edo State, Mr. Churchill Oboh, gave the commendation during a training programme organised by Proforest for thirty APOI members, in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Members of the APOI in the state include representatives of the Edo State Government, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Civil Societies Organisations (CSOs), members of the private sector and representatives of traditional rulers.
Oboh said, “I thank the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, for partnering with the Tropical Forest Alliance (TFA), which has placed Edo State in the world map in the fight against deforestation. We promise as a platform to continue to work with the state government to ensure the sector is sustainably driven.
“I wish to thank Proforest for this opportunity to train members on the platform. I also appreciate Okomu Plc for giving us their High Conservation (HCV) Area for the field training,” Oboh added.
During the four-day training, participants were trained on Free Prior Informed Concept (FPIC), High Conservation Area (HCV), High Carbon Stock (HCS) and High Carbon Stock Approach (HCSA).
The training programme focused on forest management, roles of the government, community and investors in protecting the forest belt in the state.
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While declaring the training open, Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Forestry and Food Security Programme, Prince Joe Okojie said the state government remains committed to ensuring a sustainable path for oil palm production in the state.
He urged participants to see themselves as advocates in sensitizing others to halt illegal felling of forest trees.
The governor’s aide said, “I want to inform you that the governor is committed to sustainable oil palm production in Edo State, whilst preserving the state’s forest reserve. I salute his excellency’s commitment and love for the environment. I urge you to take the training seriously as your input will be required to actualise the governor’s plan.”