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Friday, May 25, 2018

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International News : State Govt. Partners FRIN To Revive Forest Reserves

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State Govt. Partners FRIN To Revive Forest Reserves

Revive Forest Reserves

Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo says his administration will partner with the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN) to regenerate and protect the forest reserves in the state.

The governor said this while receiving senior management staff of the research institute at Government House in Benin on Wednesday.

Obaseki decried the declining forest resources in the state which he said "have gone down to only 15 per cent of what they used to be''.

He said that his administration would partner with the institute to reform the state's forestry laws and establish a forestry commission in the state.

"We are thinking in that strategic direction; one issue that is of great concern to us is rebuilding our forests.

"We are going to prosecute community leaders encroaching into the Ogbe Forest Reserve and we will work with you in efforts to recover our forests,'' he said.

Besides, the governor also said that his administration would look into the high rate of illegal lumbering in the state and initiate strategies to replenish the forest reserves.

Earlier, the Executive Director of FRIN, Dr Adeshola Adepoju, said the visit was to intimate the governor of the activities of the institute in the Benin forest zone and seek areas of collaboration in efforts to protect the state's forest cover.

He said that Edo was a major stakeholder in the country's leftover forest cover which, he noted, had depleted to less than 5 per cent.

Adepoju said that the institute was ready to collaborate with the state government to upgrade its forest reserves in order to attract international organisations and serve as a source of revenue to the state.

"We have plans to collaborate with the state to upgrade the status of Sapoba and Urhionigbe Forest Reserves to biosphere reserves and rural resource centres.

"We also want to upgrade the research facilities in Sapoba forest into a campus of the Federal College of Forestry Technology,'' he said.

Adepoju said that the institute also intended to partner with the state in youth empowerment programmes via training in honey production, mushroom farming and snail production as well as cultivation and utilisation of medicinal herbs.

Source: PM News

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