In achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, (SDGs) 2030, the French Government has confirmed its readiness to collaborate with Ogun State Government on Land Degradation Neutrality Transformation Project, to restore 108,000 hectares of forests in Imeko and Aworo Games Forest Reserves.
State Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Tunji Akinosi, who received the French delegation, led by Dr. Sonia Darracq in his office at Oke – Mosan, Abeokuta, said the Restoration Project, (ILE DOTUN), would not only support conservation, but boost economic growth by creating employment and improve the Human Development Initiative in the beneficial communities.
“Project, ILE DOTUN, will certainly create a greater awareness on available opportunities to improve people’s livelihood through a responsive business environment and viable economic conditions which will allow more Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the State”, he said.
The Commissioner, while leading the delegation on a site visit to Imeko Games Forest Reserve, said the project would integrate the people of the various communities into the project, adding that 30 percent of the proposed conservation area would be released to improve the living condition of the people through their participation in afforestation.
In her remarks, Dr. Sonia Darracq, the Regional Agricultural Councillor, Benin, Cameroon, Ghana, Niger, Nigeria and Togo, noted that apart from the partnership in the area of aquaculture with training and capacity building in agricultural value chains, saying government should focus more on forest conservation.
Darracq pointed out that premium would be placed on non-timber products and other key areas of forest resources in order to fulfil SDGs’ agenda, which centred on achieving Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by 2030.
She assured that other international afforestation schemes of the State would be facilitated through the French partnership, adding that other projects that needed resuscitation would be revisited to accomplish the desired growth.