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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki

Nigeria News

Obaseki Goes Tough On Illegal Logging, Forest Annexation

…ratifies task team to save forest resources

…okays rangers, forestry commission

Worried by the alarming rate at which forest resources are being depleted in Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki, has approved the constitution of a high-powered task team made up of top officials of the state to halt the destruction of the forest reserves and come up with tested solutions that will preserve the public wealth.

According to Obaseki, “the integrity of the Edo’s forests has been compromised, people are tying down public wealth, illegal logging is rife and much of it takes place at night and the biodiversity is being destroyed. These practices have exposed us to harsh effects of climate change and global warming.”

The task-team which is headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq., also has the Commissioner for Justice/Attorney General of the state, Prof. Yinka Omorogbe; Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Monday Osaigbovo; Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Emmanuel Usoh; Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Edorodion Oye Erimona; Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, Chief Osaro Idah; Commissioner for Environment, Omoua Alonge Oni-Okpaku; Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Jimoh Ijegbai; and the Managing Director of Edo Geographic Information Service Agency, Architect Frank Evbuomwan.

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The governor explained that the constitution of the task-team became necessary as his administration is committed to enthroning best practice in the management of forest resources in the state.

Other measures, the state government is set to adopt, Obaseki explained, include “the setting up of a Forestry Commission made up of experts, the employment and training of well – equipped rangers, collaborations and partnerships with conservation groups, communities as well as the strengthening of existing laws to reverse the destruction of forests in the state.”

He said the work of the task team would begin with a review and audit of the forest reserves and resources, after which a reclamation plan will be designed based on scientific research outcomes to ensure Edo State joins the league of countries deploying best practice in the management of forest resources.

“The threat posed by climate change is real. We cannot leave our future to chance. We are already grappling with desertification in the North with the associated crisis and flooding resulting from indiscriminate felling of trees,” he added.

The task-team will also guide the state government on international collaboration and partnerships to ensure the protection and preservation of the reserves diverse plants and animals.

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