Niger Gov’t embarks on massive reforestation programme

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Niger Gov’t embarks on massive reforestation programme

Niger Gov’t embarks on massive reforestation programme

The Niger State Government has commenced a massive reforestation programme in a deliberate effort to reclaim virtually all its forest reserves that have been degraded by both human and natural activities in the state.

Addressing journalists at the post-exco media briefing held at Government House, Minna, the state Commissioner for Environment and Forestry said 160 hectares of the degraded forest reserves have been reclaimed while hoping to reach 200 hectares before the end of the year.

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Represented by Engr. Lucky Barau, a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, the Commissioner disclosed that the state government has so far raised close to a million hybrid seedlings that will be planted on its forest reserves across the state in order to reverse the trend of deforestation.

He said the afforestation programme is concentrated, for now, on the state’s forest reserves, in those areas with no security concerns, stressing that the government has evolved a new strategy to involve host communities to take ownership of the ‘catchment forest reserves’.

“Government will allow farmers to utilize the reserves  and will also be enlightened on how to do so without necessarily destroying the forest and or destabilizing the ecosystem. Where it becomes expedient to take out some trees, we are providing seedlings to individuals and organisations to replace them”, he said.

The Commissioner also disclosed that a 20 hectares Shea Park Land is to be established by the state government at Beji, in Bosso Local Government Area of the state, as a pilot project to promote massive planting and cultivation of economic trees such as Palm and Shea nut.

While justifying the need for the government’s aggressive reforestation programme amidst security concerns, the commissioner explained that natural and human activities have had negative, consequential effects on the climate globally and are partly responsible for dwindling rainfalls, deforestation, desert encroachment and famine.

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