International Day of Forests: FRIN DG calls for review of Land Use Act to curb deforestation

The Director General of the Forest Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Professor Adeshola Adepoju, has called for a state of emergency in the forest sector, as well as a review of the Land Use Act as two means of tackling deforestation in Nigeria.

He said a review of the Land Use Act of 1978 which places all lands in the country, including forests, in the custody of state government, should be reviewed because most state governments prioritise revenue from the sale of trees and tree products over conservation.

Speaking on a Twitter space organised by the Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development to mark the International Day of Forests on Tuesday, Professor Adepoju stated that the fate of forest reserves was in the hands of the state government by the legislation of the Land Use Act.

However, many forest resources have been lost to loggers who obtained permission to fell trees from state governments.

He added that a state of emergency in the forest sector would allow for urgent action to be taken to preserve forests, some of which house endangered tree species.

The United Nations General Assembly declared March 21 as the International Day of Forests in 2012 to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.

The world is losing 10 million hectares of forest each year due to deforestation – about the size of Iceland- and insects damage around 35 million hectares of forest annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation.


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