The Federal government through the Ministry of Environment says it will henceforth not tolerate any act of deforestation and mining in National parks across the country.
The move according to the government is to revamp National parks via public-private partnership as well as partner with the military for the protection of natural resources.
This was disclosed by the conservator General National Park Services, Ibrahim Musa – Goni at the passing out parade of rangers after six weeks of intensive training and replacement of their weapons with a sophisticated one for better productivity at the Gashaka Gumti National park, Taraba state.
The Park which is the largest in the country is fast becoming of international standard, following the memorandum of understanding signed in 2017 between the National Park Service and Africa Nature Investors Foundation.
Gazetted in 1991, the Gashaka Gumti National Park is one of the largest in Africa, covering a landmass of about six thousand four hundred square kilometers.
The park accommodates various species of animals that can be hardly found in many parts of the world with some enclaves strategically located.
” In a deliberate effort to make the park tourist heaven, a thirty-year partnership agreement was signed to enable the Africa Nature Investors ANI to provide technical. financial and management support to the park ”
” Based on the agreement, a number of state of the earth facilities have been provided and installed amounting to over seven hundred million naira ”
” These includes the provision of anti-poaching patrol vehicles, satellite phones, radio equipment’s, V-SAT facilities among many others ”
Ibrahim however notes that the first batch of forty-three rangers was trained inline with the international best practices and armed with modern sophisticated weapons to protect themselves and animals from incessant attacks.
He used the forum to call on other non-governmental organizations and wealthy individuals to join the course of making national parks the best resorts in the country for tourism.
For the Executive Director, Africa Nature Investors, Tunde Morakinyo, the organization will provide more infrastructure and a helicopter to ease movement across the park.
He adds that climate change and deforestation are the major issues the Federal government needs to tackle to enhance farmers’ and herders’ relationships.
” Many Nigerians when they hear of climate change or deforestation or any environmental issue, they think its something academic, but what they don’t know is that every time people are cutting trees, there is less rainfall, the dry season gets longer ”
” What is happening now is that right across the country, we now have a conflict between farmers and cattle herders because of competition for grazing ”
” The problem now is that the north is becoming dry, so cattle herders are going down south and staying there where there is competition for land because the climate is drying ”
He calls on both states and the Federal Government to be proactive in taking measures towards curbing deforestation to avoid farmers and cattle herders fracas.