Lagos- In order to mitigate climate change, Lagos state government has made known its plan to carry out an audit of the forest estates in the state to enable the State Government ascertain what was left of its forest and biological biodiversity.
Abisola Olusanya, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, stated this on Tuesday while addressing newsmen to commemorate this year’s International Day of Forests.
She said that the audit is very necessary with a view to properly secure them against intruders who may be using the forest cover to perpetrate nefarious and criminal activities.
She said climate change is a global threat and has to be factored into the forest-food-water equation and that it is exacerbating water stress, food vulnerability, desertification, increased global temperature and putting thousands of communities at risk.
Olusanya stated that the close link between forests, water management, agriculture and food security is enough reason for the state as a responsible society to ensure forest presentation and arrest the menace of deforestation and degradation.
“Deforestation remains a matter of deep global concern leading to global climate change and loss of biodiversity. A recent study found that 71 percent of the global population face moderate to severe water scarcity at least for one month in a year.
“In order to address sustainable water issues, many international processes identified the restoration of degraded forests and other lands as one of the key solutions. More countries including Nigeria are making commitments to support that approach. Hundreds of billions of dollars per year will be needed for the restoration of these degraded lands, while governments are facing increasing constraints on public funding,” she added.
Speaking further she said it is very clear that forest restoration and avoiding biodiversity loss will require a significant increased level of funding and innovative financing, from private funds and traditional investors.
“Some countries have created successful enabling environments for private-sector investment in forestry and developed innovative funding mechanisms, such as payments for ecosystem services.
The Commissioner noted that the theme of this year’s celebration, ‘Forest Restoration: A Path to Recovery and Well-being’, is apt just as she reiterated the strong commitment of the State Government to the promotion of sustainable food production in a healthy environment through efficient service delivery.
According to her, this objective is in line with the Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) mandate of attaining a world without hunger in line with UNICEF’s Sustainable Development Goal 2 of Zero Hunger.
The Commissioner pointed out that the State Government intends to take advantage of the Forest Development Law which provides for Forestry Trust Fund and Private Participation to fund Forestry projects and programs through public private partnership and also approach the federal Government in order to access the ecological fund to tackle some of these damages to the ecosystem.
She noted that the State is raising indigenous tree seedlings in its nurseries in Badagry and Ikorodu for various tree planting activities in order to prevent the extinction of local flora heritages.