The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has said that the government is partnering with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and three other states in the country on biodiversity and forest conservation. Obaseki, who said this while briefing journalists in Benin-City, said the project is worth US$3 million.
The governor stated that the government was taking deliberate steps to tackle deforestation, forest degradation and enhance the conservation and development of the state’s forest assets. According to Obaseki, “The forestry sector is attracting a lot of investors, both locally and internationally, and development partners have been quite kind to us by opening their doors and we are working with them, especially in the areas of plantation establishment.
“The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) wrote to us, a couple of months ago, to be part of a project for the conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of lowland forests. The project is between Edo State and three other states and is worth slightly over $3 million”, calling for increased collaboration among stakeholders to safeguard the environment, ensuring sustainable practices to preserve the ecosystem and prevent the loss of biodiversity, Obaseki said the state’s forest resources can boost its economy, if properly harnessed and conserved.
He stated, “We were exporting timbers in the time past before the advent of crude oil resulted in the loss of the culture of sustainability. So, if we are to progress, develop, and diversify our economy, then we must go back to those things that made us great before”. The governor reassured that, “We will intensify actions at conserving our forests. We are working with our security forces and other stakeholders to smoke out all those people, who are not supposed to be in our forest”.