By Adibe EmenyonuÂ in Benin City
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said the state government had resolved to take proactive steps to regenerate and preserve the state’s forest assets to conform to global practices.
Obaseki stated this yesterday in Benin City, after receiving the report from the 16-man Advisory Committee on Forestry, inaugurated in April to assist the state develop effective frameworks in managing her forest assets in line with international best practices with focus on forest reservation, preservation, conservation and regeneration based on a report presented by Pro-Forest.
He said the stateâ€™s forest assets required urgent action on regeneration, noting, â€œAn executive bill for a law on forest regeneration has to go to Edo State House of Assembly and we will not waste time in implementing the lawâ€.
According to him, the state government would study recommendations made by the committee and lead conversation around forest regeneration, adding that the state would come up with policy guidelines and action plan based on the recommendations before the end of June.
â€œWe must do something urgently on forest reservation. Our advantage is that we have a history and something to fall back to on forest reservation. It is our responsibility to restore our forests,â€ he said.
Chairman of the 16-man Advisory Committee, Dr. Felix Idumah, said the committee was set up because of the governorâ€™s concern about rejuvenating the stateâ€™s forestry assets”, the governor said.
He said findings in the report revealed a high level of degradation, deforestation and depletion of the stateâ€™s forest resources, noting, â€œThe forest assets are no longer there.”
Â If nothing is done to halt the trend, we will not have any forest”.