Taraba, others pledge support for participatory forest management
IN a renewed effort to ensure effective management of resources, Taraba State has reiterated government’s commitment in supporting all initiative made towards the protection of its forest and other natural resources.
The government made the pledge during a two-day Stakeholders’ Workshop on ‘Forest Conservation’ in Baissa, Kurmi LGA of Taraba State organised by the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF), with the support of Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), where the state government was enjoined to institutionalize and adopt “Participatory Forest Management Approach” to natural resources conservation.
The Director of Forestry, Taraba State, Mr. Samuel Tetule said the government is determined to adopt participatory forest management approach towards effective management of forest resources in Taraba State.
Meanwhile, the Technical Adviser of the Nigerian Conservation Foundation, Mr. Ibrahim Inahoro attributed the unsustainable management of forest resources in the State to ineffectiveness forestry Institutions in the State.
According to him, though the state government had set up a Forestry Task Force Committee, but that much has not been done to curb the rate of forest degradation in the State.
“As part of efforts to arrest the degradation of forest involving overexploitation of timber products, NCF in the past, had implemented participatory forest management project where stakeholders’ Consultative Forum was formed to see to the community involvement in the management of forests in Taraba State”, said Inahoro.
The participants to the workshop suggested that to ensure the effective management of forest resources in Taraba State, there is need for general awareness campaign on the immediate and future benefits of forest conservation, targeting youth’s participation.
They also sought for a strong political will and commitment of the state and local government on forest conservation and management and improved funding to the forestry sector by all tiers of governments through counterpart agreement among others.
Participants also appealed to the government to enact and enforce byelaws on community forestry governance structure and ownership, train and provide financial mechanism for the development of alternative income generation ventures (enterprise options) that will reduce dependence on forest while preparing roadmap and mechanism for Forest communities and the state to benefit from the UNREDD+ Programme.
In a related development, the rate at which timber are being fell in Ogun-Ondo axis which observers see as being detrimental to the forest’s sustainability was also condemned by the “Save Our Forests Campaign”, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Ijebu-Ode Ogun State.
The President of the group, Sunday Awoniran was of the opinion that forest reserves in Ondo and Ogun state that were created by the defunct Western region Government is being mismanaged.