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Stakeholders brainstorm on ways to check forests degradation in Anambra

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[FILE PHOTO] Forest

Stakeholders have charged communities and individuals on collaboration to curb deforestation and degradation of forests, especially in Anambra State and Nigeria at large.

They gave the charge, yesterday, at a two-day workshop on Anambra Forest-Landscape Restoration Action Plan in Awka organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) and the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU).

Those present at the event include representatives of the agricultural and environment sector, civil society organisations (CSOs), communities, students and the media.
Speaking, Director-General of NCF, Muktari Aminu-Kano, said such collaboration would help to stop the ‘ugly consequences’ of climate change.

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He said urgent measures should be taken to check deforestation, forest degradation and strengthen the Green Recovery Nigeria Scheme to retain a significant proportion of the nation’s landmass under forests.

Aminu-Kano, who was represented by the Director, Business Development and Communication, Uchenna Achunine, said the NCF had also been influencing policies on preservation of environmental, nature, forest and ecosystem to persuade the government to take urgent action.

“With increasing population, the effects of climate change are manifesting through gully erosions in the South East, especially with the fragile nature of Anambra landscape.

“There is plenty of work to do to preserve our environment, hence the partnership with the NAU to hold this workshop and develop a master plan on forest landscape restoration and commit to its full implementation in the state,” he said.

Also speaking, Vice Chancellor of NAU, Prof. Charles Esimone, disclosed that the partnership with NCF would yield massive afforestation of 10 hectares of highly degraded zones and train over 40 forest patrol guards.

Esimone said the partnership had developed into structure for outreach to communities in Anambra and the South East in afforestation, natural resources conservation and eco-tourism.

Permanent Secretary, Anambra State Ministry of Environment, Emma Okafor, lamented peoples poor attitude to environmental issues, which he said, had affected the environment negatively, saying drastic measures have been put in place to check such misbehaviour.

He said the challenges driving environmental degradation include indiscriminate dumping of refuse, land excavation, flooding and land speculation, among others.

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