Cross River State governor, Ben Ayade, has said his administration has resolved to legislate against the use of wood roofing for houses. Speaking when the Senior Regional Technical Adviser, United Nations Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (UN-REDD) programme, Ms. Elsie Attafuah, visited him at Government House in Calabar.
According to the governor, a new law will be enacted which will prohibit the use of wood for roofing and encourage the use of steel as this will help to check deforestation, restore lost greenery and boost forest regeneration.
“We are in a process of enacting a new law that will prohibit the use of woods for roofing and encourage the use of steel instead. So, very soon when the house passes the law, we will stop roofing with woods and when this happens, the demand for timber will drop drastically.
“As we speak, a company is already on ground to start production of these roofing materials to meet the needs in the industry and reduce the dependence on wood as deliberate plans to save and protect the forest.”
The governor commended the REDD programme which in the last three years have focused only on training and educating people on understanding measurement analysis baselines, safeguards but added that time has come when they must reflect on the needs of the people to better their lots.
He therefore urged the UN to do away with theoretical work and be more practical in its programmes in a manner that will translate into wealth creation among Nigerians, adding that the state government expects the REDD programme to impact in a desired manner on the citizenry, particularly host communities, to the reserved forests across the state.
Speaking on “REDD PLUS” the governor said
“REDD PLUS is a plus and so please reflect on the needs of my people. Please fast track this readiness so that we can get into the investment phase because truly, everything REDD has done is wise.
“ What they have not done is that they have not been able to put one tree on the ground, so I don’t know how you want to reduce emissions when you are not focusing on the practical aspect.
“Essentially, REDD Plus is intended to preserve the forest for the good of mankind. So, if that man that you are preserving the forest for has to die of hunger, REDD must be coming too slow.”
Responding, Attafuah assured the governor that the REDD programme would bring the desired benefits to the communities where the project was being carried out.
Soliciting the support of the state for a successful transition, she said that policy dialogue at the highest level was necessary for the smooth transition of the UN-REDD projects from strategy to implementation.