Government must endeavor to patronise legally-sourced lumber …
The Forestry Commission (FC), in its bid to protect the nation’s fast-dwindling forest cover, is seeking assent to a policy that ensures only legally-sourced wood is used for all government projects, and we believe this is in the right direction.
This will go a long way to hurt the activities of illegal chain saw operators who are now invading forest reserves clandestinely and felling trees without remorse. If there is a decree that prohibits the patronage of such illegally acquired lumber, most of these illegal chainsaw operators will find it difficult to get willing patrons of their ill-gotten plunder.
In the past, all efforts to sensitise, educate and discourage illegal chainsaw operators from felling trees without approval by the FC has fallen on deaf ears, and desecration of the country’s forest cover continues unabated.
Our Development partners have shown great understanding by encouraging their nationals to insist on patronising only legally acquired timber, and this has worked to strengthen our efforts to protect the forest cover since illegal lumber will not be purchased by them.
Similarly, if we also insist from the perspective of government to only patronise wood that is certified as legal, the efforts of illegal chainsaw operators will go unrewarded. We believe this option is more viable since all attempts at appealing to the conscience of illegal operators has fallen on deaf ears as powerful personages are behind their operations.
If the policy is assented to, it will help in protecting the country’s forest cover from further loss -- which is severely affecting our environment, water-bodies and climate.