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Obaseki decries decline in forest assets

Obaseki receives, pledges implementation of EndSARS panel reports

Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki, has expressed concern over the rate of deforestation and forest degradation in the state, saying that the state’s forest reserve is gradually declining.

The governor noted that, as part of plans to protect the state’s endangered forest reserves for future generations, his administration would hire forest guards that will be trained and armed to effectively perform their duty.

Obaseki made the disclosure on Wednesday during a courtesy visit by members of Nigeria Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, REDD+, in Benin City.

“We inherited over 650,000 hectares of forest reserves, but today, we can’t account for more than 135,000 hectares. Is that right? Everybody must come together and protect our forests. For us, as you know, we had some crisis early this year, when we had to shut down the forest to restore some order.

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“We are taking certain steps already in protecting our forests, but we need more support and guidance. Our forestry assets are among our greatest endowments. Why won’t we protect it for our generations?

“We are hiring a new generation of forest guards, arming and training them to protect our forests. We believe that the government alone cannot do it, so we are inviting the private sector. We are very hopeful to partner with you in this regard,” he added.

Earlier, Moses Ama, national coordinator, Nigeria REDD+, said that REDD+ is an intervention programme by the United Nations to tackle the challenges of climate change.

He assured that REDD+ is ready to partner with the state government on it forest regeneration project.