Stakeholders urge FG, others to fast-track approval for Forestry Act
Stakeholders in the forest resources sector have called on the Federal Government and other relevant authorities to fast-track the process of approval of the National Forestry Act for implementation of the National Forest Policy.
They also asked the government, professionals and other stakeholders in the industry to pursue the development of national standards for forest and forest products certification in Nigeria.
They made the call at the end of a five-day Wood Expo Nigeria 2.0 with the theme, ‘Exploring the potential of wood in Nigeria: Forest to wealth,’ held at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Abuja, last month.
In a communiqué by the Convener and Chief Executive Officer, Wood Expo Nigeria, Arc. Bose Idegbesor and H.O.D Wood & Wood products Div, Raw Mat. Res. & devt. Council (RMRDC), L.G. Suraj, the forum noted the increasing environmental threats the country was facing as a result of forest depletion and the need to map out effective strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change.
It, therefore, recommended the inclusion of forestry curriculum in the National Education Policy at primary and secondary school levels.
Stakeholders also called for the inclusion of local forest resources and cultural values in architectural designs, construction and built environment.
While making case for the standardisation and improvement in indigenous technologies in exploring the potential of wood in Nigeria, participants urged the Federal Ministry of Environment to champion the coordination of relevant stakeholders for more pro-active synergies in sustainable management of Nigeria’s forests and development of forest products.
The expo also agreed that more proactive measures to protect Nigeria’s forests are crucial to attracting investment into the sector.
The stakeholders, while noting the lack of accurate statistics on the forest, timber production and trade in Nigeria, challenged the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) to be more proactive in data collection on inventory and trades in forest resources to ensure reliable data.
The expo equally called on investors to take advantage of bamboo as an export commodity and income and employment generator.
The wood expo was organised by the Design & Dwell, Associates, Forestry Research Institute (FRIN), Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), Processed Wood Products Marketers Association of Nigeria (PROWPMAN), Lagos State Forestry Services, the Nigerian Institute of Architects (NIA), Abuja chapter, in collaboration with the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC).