…. Restates ban on exportation of wood products
… Task Taraba government on conservation of Montane forest
By Femi Bolaji
The Federal Ministry of Environment has said about 15 Million trees have so far been planted in line with president Muhammadu Buhari’s pledge to plant 25 million trees across the country.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, who spoke Sunday, in Bekin Dutse, Ardo Kola local government area of Taraba state at the flag-off of ‘Green Taraba Afforestation Project’, also restated that the ban on export of wood products is still in force.
The ‘Green Taraba Afforestation Project’ is a five year tree planting campaign across the state, championed by Taraba state timber buyers association, in collaboration with the state government to plant five million trees.
The Minister, who was represented by Abosede Olukanmi, attributed Nigeria’s high rate of deforestation to population pressure.
He noted that the current realities, especially with climate change and other evolving environmental phenomenon, has brought to fore the need for all to engage in tree planting.
According to him, “this initiative is indeed timely considering the urgent need to confront the diverse and severe impacts of environmental degradation that has continued to ravage the global community.
” These impacts as you are all aware, range from flooding, soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, desertification, global warming among others, with attendant negative consequences on human wellbeing and socio-economic development.
“Nigeria has one of the highest deforestation rates in the world, and this can be ascribed to population pressure.
“It has therefore become a matter of necessity that tree planting should be embraced by all as an immediate panacea for the daunting environmental and climate change challenges.
“The actualization of Mr. President’s pledge to plant 25 million trees is on course as about 60% of the target has been achieved.”
Abubakar also decried the illegal logging of rosewood in the state, just as he urged the state government to protect the relics of its natural montane forest.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Ibrahim Lawan, said the ministry’s role in the ‘Green Taraba Project’ is supervisory, and would yearly inform the Federal Ministry of Environment on progress made.
Taraba state Chairman of Timber buyers association of Nigeria, Josiah Magaji, in his address explained that his group is embarking on the project to preserve and reclaim the forest resources of Taraba.
He said “our hope is to not only restore the natural riches of the terrain, but also inspire every state across Nigeria and Africa to take on afforestation and reforestation projects to effectively combat the effects of climate change.
The Minister also commissioned a permanent tree nursery yard that would accommodate no fewer than one million nurseries.