Ecologist Urges Govt To Train Tree Fellers


An ecologist, Mr Richard Inyamkume, last Wednesday urged the three tiers of government to train tree fellers and give them loans to work as strategy to address deforestation.
Inyamkume, Senior Programme Officer, Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Initiative (CCMAI), gave the adnNewsmen in Abuja.
“Capacity building for tree fellers will include wood learning and the practice and techniques of felling trees to emphasise efficiency that will improve productivity.
“If best knowledge and practice is transferred to local tree fellers and loans given to support skills acquired, Nigeria will experience gross reduction in tree-felling.
“It will also help to reduce chainsaw-related accidents as well as increase overall tree conservation awareness among people.
“Therefore, governments need to act toward conserving trees and reducing the rate at which people cut down trees indiscriminately,” he said.
The ecologist said that the governments should train more people in forest conservation that would support green climate and environment.
“Although agriculture and logging operations are key drivers of deforestation because agriculturists cut down trees to create more space for crop planting or livestock grazing and logging operators cut down trees to provide the world’s wood and paper products, a lot of individual business owners are also felling trees on an alarming rate.
“All these groups need to undergo training and capacity building, as well as receive support from government through bank loans to strengthen the implementation of global best practices in tree-felling.
“This capacity building for tree fellers is imperative because a number of urban foresters, tree service workers, utility companies, loggers and public agencies in Nigeria are cutting down trees indiscriminately in rural and urban areas,” he said.
Inyamkume also called for more tree-planting activities and reduction on tree-felling to promote forest conservation.
“Each year, millions of trees are cut down by fellers in rural and urban areas without proper replacement programmes to support green forest conservation.
“Many people have turned to firewood and charcoal as the seemingly cheapest sources of cooking fuel.
“In Nigeria, felling of trees is having negative impacts on our environment and climate, as it has resulted in loss of habitat for millions of species, and increased global warming due to the presence of excess carbon in the atmosphere.
“When forests are cut down, not only does carbon absorption cease, carbon stored in the trees is also released into the atmosphere as Co2 if the wood is burnt or even if it is left to rot,” he said.