Nigeria launches National Forest Policy

Zeniat Abubakar, Abuja.

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Stakeholders in the Environmental Sector have been urged to work with the government to tackle the challenges of deforestation.

The call came as Nigeria launches a National Forest Policy for sustainable use of the country’s forest resources.

It was made at the commemoration of the 2022 International Day of Forests, and the Launch of the National Forest Policy held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.


Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, Minister of State for Environment.


At the event, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Environment, Barr. Sharon Ikeazor, said the policy enunciated relevant strategies in line with globally accepted priority areas of Sustainable Forest Management. This according to her include the extent of forest resources, biodiversity, forest Health and vitality, Protection Functions of Forests, Productive Functions of Forests, Socio-Economic Functions of Forest and Legal, Policy and Institutional Framework.

She stressed that the process for reviewing the 2006 National Forest Policy was initiated in 2017 and completed with the adoption and approval by the National Council on Environment in November, 2019.

“The revised 2020 National Forest Policy sets out strategies for growing the sector further and addressing emerging environmental issues like climate change resulting from increased population with its attendant pressure on the forests and its resources.

“Contemporary development priorities dictated a revision of the policy, hence presenting it to you today as a guide in the forest and other related sectors,” the Minister explained.

Ikeazor further stated that the policy was guided by a vision of sustainable management of forest ecosystems, socio-economic growth, environmental sustainability and provision of goods and services for domestic purposes and export for the benefit of the nation.

She said the forestry sector remained an important natural capital asset in the attainment of the national development objectives of Nigeria, particularly in the generation of economic activities, employment, poverty reduction, provision of goods and services and environmental security and sustainability.


The Minister also reiterated President Buhari’s commitment in pursuance of its mandate to deliver equitable dividend of democracy, poverty eradication, food security, sustainable development, climate change mitigation and adaptation towards enhancement of community’s inclusiveness in Sustainable Forest Management.


The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Hassan Musa, said advancing sustainable production and consumption of the country’s forest will require turning declarations and pledges into transformative act.

Musa noted that these actions must respond to current and future challenges to drive the transformative changes required to halt and reverse deforestation by 2030.

He said; “As you are all aware, the sustainable management of forest resources enhances economic, social and environmental values of all types of forests for the benefit of present and future generations.

“Forest is one of nature’s most efficient and complex ecosystems in the world.

“The importance of forests cannot be underestimated as we depend on it for our survival from the air we breathe to the wood we use.”

Musa said the Nigerian Government has shown a strong political will to deliver the objectives of curbing deforestation and its effects by putting in place policies and actions.

The Director-General of the Forestry Research Institute Of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan, Oyo State, Professor Adepoju Olusola, appealed to the State and Federal governments to look into the Land Use Act as this would also help the efforts of the Institutes in achieving its mandates.

The Representative of the British High Commissioner, Head of Climate Change and Energy, West Africa, FCDO Sean Melbourne, commended the Nigerian government for launching the Forest Policy, in addition to other existing policy measures, such as the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan and the Climate Change Act.

Melbourne said; “Developing the plans is important but what is more important is a robust implementation that would help to tackle the challenges facing the forest sector.

“We are taking action on ground to support Nigeria on the implementation.

“In Edo State, we are supporting a rural transition to sustainable agriculture through our Partnerships for Forests programme, and in Kaduna, Kano and Jigawa States, we are supporting pilot projects on growing rice using less water and producing less methane.”

“We are also supporting access to organic fertilizer in Northern Nigeria.

“In Cross River, Bauchi, Taraba and Adamawa States, we are supporting activities to improve forest governance and provide protection for endangered species such as elephants, pangolins and chimpanzees,” Melbourne added.


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