BY SUNNY A. DAVID

The Anambra State commissioner for culture, entertainment and tourism, Comrade Don Onyenji, has called for the conservation of various forests in the state to help in erosion control, among other benefits.He made the call at a one-day lecture held at the Igbariam campus of Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University.The commissioner, who urged Ndi Anambra to plant economic trees in their various homes to promote healthy living and generate revenue, also stated the importance of ecotourism and solicited the protection of wild animals in various forests.Commissioner Onyenji said the world-class tourist centre, which will be built at Agulu Lake, would accommodate a zoo where people can see varieties of animals.He further said that efforts are on to enlist Ogbunike Cave in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) world tourism sites, noting that one of the criteria is that the cave and its environment will be in their natural forms.On his part, the vice chancellor of the university, Professor Greg Nwakobi, represented by Professor Ndubisi Nsoanya, said the event would help create awareness about the effects of deforestation and the need to help protect forest products.Professor Nsoanya called for the establishment of a zoo in the state for biodiversity, as well as the digitisation of forests in the state in the interest of posterity.In their contributions, the chairman of the Anambra State Waste Management Authority (ASWAMA), Dr. Emma Ezenwaji, and the chairman of the Community Resource Management and Conservation Initiative, Professor Peter Nnabude, said the event enabled professionals in related areas to deliberate on ways of tackling environmental problems in the state, and called on Ndi Anambra to take care of their environment to minimise the impact of erosion in the state.A director in the Nigeria Conservation Foundation, Mr. Joseph Onoje, promised to partner with the Anambra State government in reforestation.

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