As part of efforts to mitigate the challenge posed by the degradation of the natural environment, especially climate change, Ondo State Government says investment in Oil Palm Development will play a vital part towards achieving Green Growth in the state.
At a two-day workshop on Mainstreaming Green Growth Strategy For Socio-Economic Development Of Ondo State, organised by the Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget in collaboration with IDH-the Sustainable Trade Initiative, in Akure, the participants resolved that Green Growth is an imperative component of Sustainable Development, noting that multi-sectoral platforms would be required to mainstream strategies for the development of the plan in the state.
In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Pastor Emmanuel Igbasan, said the concept means fostering economic growth and development while ensuring that natural assets continue to provide the resources and environmental services on which the state’s well-being relies.
He, however, mentioned that Green growth is not a replacement for sustainable development; rather, it provides a practical and flexible approach for achieving concrete, measurable progress across its economic and environmental pillars, while taking full account of the social consequences of greening the growth dynamics of the economy.
“The focus of Green Growth strategies is ensuring that natural assets will continue to deliver their full economic potential on a sustainable basis. That potential includes the provision of critical life support services – clean air and water, and the resilient biodiversity needed to support food production and human health.
Igbasan said the world has continued to face a twin challenge: expanding economic opportunities for all in the context of a growing global population; and addressing the environmental pressures that could undermine the ability to seize the opportunities, saying that the concept acts as the nexus between the two challenges, as well as the means of exploiting the opportunities that might arise from them.
In a communiqué signed by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, O ‘Bunmi Alade, it was resolved that the state would integrate Green Growth Plan into its Planning and Budgeting Processes.
“Investment in Oil Palm Development could play a vital part towards achieving Green Growth in the state; forestry department should be strengthened and the state’s forest reserves should be regenerated; Community-Based Management should be practiced to police the forest reserves; the state should collaborate with development partners to craft a State Development Plan that would strive to maintain the State’s Natural Environment; Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of any investment should be publicly done and its report given adequate publicity.
“Existing policies in the state that would help in transiting to Green Growth Economy must be strengthened and new ones formulated; Ministries, Extra-Ministerial Departments and Agencies (MEDAs) of the state must synergise to provide the necessary strategies that would engender Green Growth; the state should strive to practice SMART Agriculture; the state should collaborate with NIFOR to formulate an Operating Manual for SMART Agricultural Practices for the oil palm sector of the state; there should be a coalition of stakeholders at community level that will be involved in the production, protection and inclusion in the project of Oil Palm Development; there must be conveyance of Regular Meeting of Oil-Palm Medium Scale Firms.
“The state should identify relevant Green Growth (GG) indicators for Annual Monitoring and Evaluation of Progress Sector-wide and the state should have a Green Growth Desk Officer/Champion in all MEDAs /Sectors and that the state should follow-up on SAHEL Capital Agribusiness Managers Limited who had indicated interest to invest in the Oil Palm Development in the state.”