Tropical Wood Exporters Association of Nigeria (TWEAN) is partnering13 state governments to regenerate the depleted nation’s forests.
TWEAN Secretary General, Mr. Joseph Odiase, who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos, said that the group in collaboration with some state governments has embarked on massive forestation programme with a view to arresting the menace of deforestation.
He said the exporters have gone ahead of the federal government policy of cut one and plant two trees by planting seven trees for every tree cut down.
Odiase said that between Ogun and Ekiti states, the group has acquired over 1,000 hectares of land for tree planting.
He hinted that Osun, Kogi,Kwara, Taraba, Benue, Edo, Akwa-IbomJigawa, Katsina, Niger, Oyo and Ondo states are in discussions with exporters to create tree farms in the states.
According to him, wood exporters are ready and willing to partner with the federal government to ensure that the effect of climate change in Nigeria was reduced to barest minimum.
Besides, he said thatwood exporters, the Processed Wood Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (PWPMAN) was also neck deep in the collaboration of forest regeneration drive.
He explained that issue of deforestation was the concern of every Nigerian, adding that wood exporters will support government in the move to regenerate the nation’s forest.
According to him, “We must protect and preserve the forest for this and future generations because these forests also help in the sustenance and preservation of the environment. We are working with the Ministry of Environment as they have promised to provide technical support when it is needed.
“In as much as our businesses are important to us, we cannot jeopardise the environment for economic gains because we are not the only ones operating in the nation’s economy. We will not only abide with cut one plant two trees policy of government, we are also embarking on a massive forest cultivation programme. The project is a fulfillment of our commitment to the honourable Minister of Environment at the national stakeholders’ meeting on forestation,”he added
Likewise, the president of the association, Mr. IbitayoOmotoye said the replanting exercise in some the states has since commenced.
Omotayo said the group had written to other states for collaboration adding that the responses were being awaited.
He said: “We are ready to support government through the tree re-planting exercise just as we hope to do the official flag off before the end of the month.”
On his part, the president of PWPMAN, Mr. AdemolaOyeleke said whatever will grow the wood export industry without jeopardising the economy and the environment will be wholly supported.