Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun and other stakeholders have decried the spate of deforestation in Africa in view of its negative effects on climate change.
Declaring open a 3-day workshop of African Forest Forum (AFF) held at the Osun State University, Osogbo, Aregbesola commended the initiative of AFF for improving livelihood and sustainable management of forest resources in the African continent.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs Grace Titilaoye Tomori, noted that he launched an afforestation programme that witnessed the planting of two million trees and also encouraged every household to ensure that a tree was planted in the name of members of the family.
The workshop with the theme, “Modelling Climate and Applications to the forestry sector hosted by the Osun State University, Osogbo had no fewer than seventeen African countries in attendance.
Aregbesola said that Osun had been fully committed to afforestation and tree planting in order to curtail the ravaging effect of climate change.
He noted that Osun had 10 forest reserves across seven local government areas and also identified poor data base and lack of comprehensive management due to encroachment and deforestation as the challenges being encountered.
The ECOWAS Representative, Mr Moussa Leko, said it is committed to supporting the efforts of member states in creating synergy among stakeholders in order to sustain the forest management globally and also in sound decision making within the Sub region.
Leko further stressed on the importance of forestry on food security and supply of renewable energy as source of livelihood among the people of Africa.
He commended the initiative of the forum with huge impact expected to be felt on forest resources management both at regional and international levels.
Mr Godwin Kowero, the Executive Secretary of the AFF stressed the way climate change is affecting environment and therefore becoming threat to human lives.
Kowero added that the forum is working closely with the United Nations to address the issue of forest deforestation especially in the African continent.
He said strategic plans are being put in place across African countries to curtail environmental degradation and climate change challenges.
In his remark, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Labode Popoola, said efforts is ongoing to carve out Renewable Natural Resources center in the Faculty of Agriculture of Osun State University.
While urging participants to make the best use of opportunities provided by the workshop, he praised the state government for supporting the university in meeting up with its academic challenges.