Forestry Commission Boss restates commitment to sustainable forest management in C'Rriver


The Cross River State Forestry Commission Chairman, Chief Tony Undiandeye has reiterated the commitment and readiness of the Board towards sustainably repositioning the sector for the overall interest of the State.

Addressing the maiden meeting of the new Board and staff of the Commission , Chief Undiandeye expressed the State Governor’s passion for the sector as a renowned environmentalist and the need to preserve our God’s given heritage of pristine forests for posterity.

The Chairman emphasised that all hands must be on deck to achieve the anticipated success which can only be recorded through hardwork and dedication to duties.

He frowned at negative reports of some Foresters who allegedly aided  illegalities in the field and sternly warn Staff to shun actions that are unprofessional.

The Board Chairman likened their job to that of a Medical Doctor by illustrating that tree is like a human being which grows only under favourable condition and managing the forests entails managing other creation of nature that has the reflection of man.

He assured of swift interventions in critical areas highlighted by the staff while admonishing them to be honest in their dealings as he will protect staff only to the extent of his knowledge and will equally reject staff whose dealings are unknown to him.

Also speaking, one of the Commissioners , Mr. Adim Ekpenyong urged staff to live above challenges of the job and make concerted efforts to make impacts in their chosen field.

He commended the passion exhibited by some staff, one of whom was said to have planted nursery through his personal effort and encouraged others to imbibe such selflessness in service.

In a vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary, Forestry Commission, Mr. Timothy Akwaji stressed on the negative impact of the ban on logging in Cross River State, pointing out that no international organisation critical to climate change mitigation has opted for ban on logging as a recommended practice.

He further explained that organisations like the Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force (GCFTF), Climate group and the under 2 coalition of which Cross River is a signatory, advocates for a sustainable forest management where selective logging is practiced, adding that “ as you selectively log, you aggressively regenerate and the forests will continue to be there.”

Mr. Akwaji appreciated the Board for the platform to interract , noting that it was a long yearning of staff for a leader who has the wherewithall to reposition the sector and expressed hope that the new leadership will not fail the expectation of staff.
He however, admonished staff to rise above reproach and strive to redeem the image of the commission , while also pledging their cooperation to the achievement of the Commission’s mandate.

Earlier in their remarks, Senior Directors of the Commission, Dr. Ekpenyong Ita and Mrs. Bridget Nkor respectively bared their minds on the limitations of their jobs which included the long standing moratorium.
According to them, the ban technically suspended the forestry laws which empowered them to carry out their duties effectively.

They expressed concerned that government spent heavily on establishment of forest plantations which are exploited illegally without revenue to govermment, also, the forest bearing communities no longer receive royalties from government as it was before the ban .

The Directors called on the new Board to spearhead the review and lifting of the ban for the enthronement of a sustainable Forest Management practice in the State.

Other Commissioners of the Commission are; Richard Adah, Christian Joe Okpa, Odey Simon Ayuk, Believe Francis and Adie John.

Also present in the meeting was the Special Adviser to the Governor on Forestry, Prince Bassey Ita Edet, amongst others.
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