The Gombe State Government says it is reviewing the state’s environmental and forestry laws to check the indiscriminate felling of trees and protect the forest resources of the state.
Dr Hussaina Goje, the Commissioner for Environment and Forest Resources disclosed this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Gombe on Wednesday.
Goje said that it had become imperative to review the laws in view of the alarming rates at which the environment was being depleted, adding that the environment played important roles in human existence.
According to her, the state government is committed to revitalising the environment through its ‘Gombe Goes Green’ initiative which has planted several thousands of tree seedlings already, while projecting four million trees in four years.
She said the existing laws needed to be reviewed to reflect present-day realities and mitigate environmental degradation and pollution, which posed a serious threat to the quality of air available to humans.
“In regard to trees felling, we know that some of the laws are old and not implemented but we are now in discussions. I have directed for a review of the existing forestry and environmental laws.
“We have to review the laws so that it will be in tandem with the 21st Century and we can see how we can implement some of the policies as backed by law.
“The administration of Gov. Inuwa Yahaya is committed to the protection and improvement of the environment as well as safeguarding the forests and wildlife of the state; the environment is a priority of this administration.
“Aside desertification, Gov. Yahaya has also paid counterpart funding of N500 million to combat erosion. With all these efforts being put in place, I can assure you that there is hope for the environment.
While urging residents to support the government’s efforts in planting more trees across the state, Goje said that tree planting “is important to combat desertification and to revive the environment.’’
Goje said that efforts were ongoing to systemically combat tree felling through the provision of alternative cooking sources that were environment-friendly to several communities in the state.
“On Monday, we had a meeting with relevant stakeholders to assess the basic needs of the people with a view to fabricating and providing alternative cooking stoves to meet those needs,’’ she said.