Provide Lands For Bamboo Plantations: FG Tells State Govts

By Miriam Humbe

Nigeria’s Federal Government has urged States to make lands available for the establishment of bamboo plantations for the benefits of degraded land restoration and sustaining availability of raw materials for the existing and the potential bamboo based industries across the country.

Minister of the Environment, Mallam Balarabe Abbas Lawal said this on Wednesday at the event to mark the 2023 World Bamboo Day in Abuja.

The World Bamboo Day is a day set aside to commemorate and raise awareness about the importance of this giant grass to the world’s social, economic and environmental survival.

The Minister said: “It may interest you to know that my Ministry, in line with the eight priority areas of the present Administration, is seeking more ways to explore the enormous benefits of bamboo for the socio-economic development of the country through sustainable livelihood and job creation, environmental degradation reversal, emission reduction, climate change mitigation biodiversity conservation, and green cities development etc, and thereby contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), addressing food security, women empowerment, economic growth and technology.”

He said that the recent coming on board of Sahelian Institute for Bamboo Research and Entrepreneurial Development (SIBRED) as the first bamboo research institute outside Asia (in Nigeria) that will service 16 other African countries will increase our traction toward bamboo development.

The Minister said: “The collaboration is open-ended as we look forward to working with critical stakeholders including private sectors and international organizations in the development of Bamboo and Rattan Sector in Nigeria.

“This collaboration will serve as a silver bullet to our diverse challenges including the menace of plastics via promotion of nature- based solutions and to increase in the nation’s forest cover.

“Let me acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of all those who have dedicated their time and energy to promoting bamboo as a viable and eco-friendly alternative.

“Kudos to the farmers, artisans, researchers, and policy makers who have worked tirelessly to harness the potential of bamboo for the betterment of our society.”

He therefore, encouraged everyone present, to take advantage of the event to learn more about the immense benefits of bamboo.

Lawal said: “Let us embrace the versatility and beauty of this plant and strive to maximize its potentials for the benefit of our communities and the planet as a whole.”

The Director overseeing the Perm Sec’s office in the Ministry, Lawrence Adigwe said that the event provided the opportunity to unveil and celebrate the achievements of bamboo as a great resource and inspire further action towards its development.

Adigwe said: “Therefore, let us see this as a call to all stakeholders including policymakers, researchers’ farmers, marketers, communities and entrepreneurs, to join forces and explore innovative ways to fully harness the potentials of bamboo”.

“I urge everyone especially those from the forestry sector, to prioritize sustainable management and conservation of the nation’s forests as they say “Charity begins at home”.

“Let us embrace the Bamboo and seize this opportunity to work together to promote it as a viable and eco-friendly nature based alternative solution.”

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