Bayelsa state government calls for end to forest destruction
Ekene Okafor, Lagos
The Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Bayelsa State Governor on Tourism, Dr. Piriye Kiyaramo has called for an end to the unsustainable consumption and production patterns that jeopardize Ecotourism in the state.
Dr. Kiyaramo who made the call while speaking with newsmen at the Ernest Ikoli Press Centre Yenagoa, in commemoration of the 2023 International Day of Forests, with the theme, “Forests and health.”
He said, the need to preserve Ecotourism is not only for tourism purposes alone but also more than 2,000 indigenous cultures have come to depend on the forests for their livelihoods, medicines, fuel, food and shelter.
Dr. Kiyaramo hinted that the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 21 as International Day of Forests in 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
He explained that animals and human life, including plants, built and cultural resources which are worthy of conservation have intrinsic worth when it comes to tourism management, informing that the natural environment is a source of attraction to very many people with the development of many metropolitan cities in the world.
According to him, “Forests play crucial role in poverty alleviation as well as in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), lamenting that despite all the priceless ecological, economic, social and health benefits of our forests, they have become endangered by fires, pests, droughts, and unprecedented deforestation.”
The governor’s aide reiterated that, “Our forests give so much to our health, forests purify the water, clean the air, capture carbon to fight climate change, provide food and life-saving medicines, and improve our well-being. It is up to us to safeguard these precious natural resources.”
He appealed to community leaders to redouble their commitments to healthy forests practices with a view to achieving healthier livelihoods, saying that the United Nations General Assembly’s proclamation encourages people to undertake local efforts in organising activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns.
“Though the commitments to halt deforestation have been loud and clear, each year people still degrade and destroy some 10 million hectares of forest. It is time we see tangible and credible action on the ground through public private partnerships and collaborations among all key stakeholders,” Dr. Kiyaramo regretted.