A workshop has been organised by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), in conjunction with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and Federal Government to develop strategies for tackling deforestation and forest degradation in the country.

Held in Abuja, the meeting sought the adoption of interventions that would promote the conservation of biodiversity for global economic and environmental importance.

Discussions focused on the National Forest Investment Plan (NFIP), under a broader West African Forest Convergence Plan adopted in September 2013 in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire following a dialogue among the 15 ECOWAS member states, intergovernmental organisations, international organisations of the United Nations System and international Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

In his address, Nigeria Country Representative of FAO, Suffyan Koroma, pledged full support towards the implementation of the convergence plan for the sustained management and use of forest ecosystem in Nigeria.

Represented by Sadiya Ibrahim, an official of FAO, he noted that the international organisation has provided support to Nigeria in the development of its national forestry investment programme, adding that plans were ongoing with the Ministry of Environment, states and other partners to achieve zero hunger and sustainable natural resources management.

Minister of Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, who was represented by the Director of General Services in the ministry, Tahir Suleiman, affirmed the Federal Government’s commitment to the West African Forest Convergence Plan to boost the country’s forest resources.