Delta state governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on Deltans to have a change of approach towards doing government business so as to be in tune with time as it relates to the management of our forest.
Governor Okowa made the call in Asaba during the Delta State Sustainable Firewood Management Summit organized by the United Nations Development Programme and Global Environment Facility (UNDP – GEF) in collaboration with the Delta state government and other stakeholders.
The governor, who was represented by the Head of Service, Mr. Reginald Bayoko, stated that the theme of the summit, Institutionalizing and Forest Management to Minimize Indiscriminate Cutting of Trees and Deforestation was apt.
He said that for proper management of the forest, there was the need to have a policy that supports local forest dwellers.
He stated that the world is changing and that it was time to think outside the box to protect our forests, saying that he was aware of the various efforts of government and other advocacy agencies in sensitising all relevant stakeholders on the need to give front page recognition to presenting sustainable firewood management in Nigeria.
According to Governor Okowa, the state needed to compel relevant stakeholders to understand the need to share the cost with a view to eliminating the indiscriminate cutting of trees for firewood and other purposes.
The permanent secretary in the ministry of environment, Mr. Precious Anuku, stated that the overall objective of the summit was to ensure the sustainable fuel wood production and consumption for multiple environmental benefits.
Mr. Anuku also stated that the objective also included ensuring that basic human development needs were met without compromising ecosystem ability to provide global environmental services and also to reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emission from the use of firewood in the domestic, institutional and industrial sectors of Nigeria through integrated and sustainable fuel wood production and promotion of sustainable biomass energy technologies using output based and market – based approaches.
The Global Environmental Facility (GEF) support project titled: ‘Sustainable Firewood Management, (SFM) project which is being facilitated by the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) is using Delta, Karina and Cross River State for the project implementation.