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Group empowers community on forest protection

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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Green Vision for Community Development Initiative (GVCDI) has trained some community members in Cross Rivers state on how to protect forests from deforestation. 

The training session was carried out during a sensitisation campaign on community forest protection and conservation in Akwa Esuk Eyamba community in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the state.

The Executive Director of GVCDI, Okon Enemi, said the community has a large forest, but if not properly managed and protected, could suffer deforestation.

He said the programme, which was supported and funded by Small Grant Programme (SGP), Global Environmental Fund (GEF) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has also trained women and youths in alternative livelihood in the production of efficient wood stoves and pastries that were shared to every household in the community.

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Enemi said: “The purpose of this rally is to create awareness and to sensitise the people on community forest protection and conservation because this community has a large forest. Before now, we had a training workshop where we trained women and youths on alternative livelihood.

We taught them how to make pastries and many other skills so they don’t destroy their forest. 

“They were also trained on efficient wood stove production. We have produced efficient wood stoves in February. We shared the stove to each household in the entire community. This was to reduce the falling of trees they used as firewood.

“We also had a community forest conservation workshop. It was to enlighten them on the methods of protecting community forest and preserving the same. At the end of that workshop, community-based forest management was formed and the youth leader is the Chairman of that committee.”

He also added that the engagement is phase one of the project and the second phase would be the planting of two thousand palm fruits and school competitions on the effects of forest and herbs in the lives of the citizens. 

Also speaking at the occasion, the Paramount Ruler of Akpabuyo, Etinyin Nya and the Village Head, Etubom Obo, thanked the NGO for bringing such initiative to their people and promised that every necessary step would be taken to protect and preserved their forest from deforestation.

The youth’s leader, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, Edet Etim, said, ”We are happy for this campaign for a sustainable forest reserve. We have to learn how to make good use of our forest. This awareness and training have opened our eyes to the importance of protecting our forest.”

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