Towards efficient and sustainable wood utilization policy in Nigeria
Policy guidelines are needed to drive wood market transformation through concerted efforts with timber exploiters and sellers to (a). Halt deforestation (b). Promote best practices in sustainable forest management (c). Promote economic and social impact of the forest communities (d). Encourage recyclability of waste wood (e). Discourage sale and use of illegally harvested wood - 'flitches' (f). Emphasize the use of forest certified materials and (g). Support the role of community forestry in the wood supply chain. It is essential for wood-suppliers to carry out periodic self assessment of their activities which should, once in a while, be verified by independent audit arrangements. Operational modules of timber contractors should be verified and certified. Appropriate exploitation is achievable if wood is not harvested in violation of traditional and civil rights; if technology innovations reduce the volume of wood used and ensure that the conservation value of forests is not threatened. In essence, timber exploitation should strive towards zero tolerance for corruption, minimal wastage, no health hazard to workers and full compliance with applicable forest laws.