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Published On: Wed, Aug 27th, 2014

Minister directs forestry involvement in Great Green Wall project

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The Minister of Environment, Mrs Laurentia Mallam, has called for the active involvement of the Department of Forestry in the implementation of the Great Green Wall (GGW) project.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Ben BemGoong, Deputy Director, Press Unit, of the ministry, in Abuja on Monday.

The statement stated that the minister’s directive was with a view to fast tracking the implementation of the GGW project.

The GGW project is an environmental programme of the Federal Government designed to check the ravaging desert encroachment in the northern part of the country.

She, therefore, directed three directors of forestry in the ministry to develop strategies toward implementing the project.

The statement stated that the minister said that the content of the project was 90 per cent afforestation in nature and queried the non-involvement of the department.

She said this was necessary “given the huge manpower resources available in the department that can easily be deployed to complement

what the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) of the GGW in the ministry is doing’’.

Earlier, the Director of Forest Management, Mr Simon Adedoyin, said that the department was confronted with paucity of funds, among others.

According to him, capacity gap arising from non-recruitment of technical cadres, obsolete forest sector statistics and dilapidated

field offices and nursery sites, were other factors affecting operations of the department.

Adedoyin, however, listed some of the achievements of the department to include the establishment of Forest Remote Sensing/GIS facility,

which was inaugurated on March 7, 2013 and establishment of National Forest Information System. He said the department harvested 3,092 tonnes of invasive aquatic weeds through the use of 45 Water Weeds Community Committees (WWCC) in 25 states in 2011.

The forestry director said that the department also facilitated the implementation of the first phase of the Presidential Initiative on Afforestation (PIA) designed for economic and environmental sustainability.

Adedoyin said that the department promoted efforts to attract international funding for the conservation of natural forest for

climate change mitigation and support community livelihoods.

He said it “assisted state forestry services in the development of management plans for selected forest reserves and wetlands.

“They are Amboi/Baissa forest reserve in Taraba, Omo forest reserve in Ogun, Oguta Lake in Imo, Lower Niger-Upper Kaduna wetland in

Kwara,’’ he said. (NAN)


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