Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, who disclosed this, said that the state government intends to utilize its forest belt to create wealth for its people, even as the government intensifies efforts to create structures and institutions to actualize this vision.
The governor, at the inauguration of the state’s 16-member Advisory Committee on Forestry, said the state government is developing a policy framework to exploit its forestry assets to international standards.
According to him, “We will unveil a policy document on Forestry at an International Conference to be held in Accra Ghana to showcase how we intend to work with partners to develop our forestry assets in line with international standards.”
He added that the state government’s resolve to unveil the document is in line with his administration’s drive to work with international partners to preserve the forest belt in the state, preserve the state’s fauna and flora and exploit the forest assets for inclusive growth.
The policy document is expected to be a major milestone for the state government, as it will provide an insight into the investment opportunities, areas of partnerships and other enablers set up by the state to develop the state’s forest assets.
He added that the Forestry Commission, which will soon be set up, will help the state in sustaining reforms in the sector, provide a means for engagement and regulation of international partners and ensure that the state keeps to international best practices as it explores development of a vibrant space for private operators to operate.
The state government has pushed ambitious forestry reforms that will see it explorepartnership with ProForest, an international non-profit, in managing its forestry assets. This will see the state work out arrangements that will benefit the oil palm sector and other sectors in the state that are linked with the state’s forest resources.