Deforestation: Oyetola To Plant 1Million Trees

The Osun State Governor, Alhaji Gboyega Oyetola has concluded plans to plant one million tree seedlings to mitigate the effects of deforestation in the state.

Mr Oladepo Atanda, Commissioner for Environment and Sanitation, made the disclosure in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday in Osogbo.

The Commissioner who regretted the activities of illegal loggers in government reserved forests, said tree felling generally had negative effects on the ecosystem.

He said: “Tree felling has a lot of negative implication on the ecosystem and climate change.

“We have gone through a lot of seminars in this respect with all our staff involved and we have been doing a lot of advocacy to educate our people.

“We have taken charge of the forests after we noticed that a lot of encroachment had gone into the forest reserves, especially the one at Sasa in Ile-Ife.

“People have encroached into the reserves to cut trees illegally, and farm but we have court injunction to uproot all the illegal things planted in the forest reserve to give way for the tree planting programme of the government”.

He said Gov. Gboyega Oyeyola, planned to plant a minimum of one million trees in the state.

According to him, the programme is part of the 25 million tree planting programme of the Federal Ministry of Environment, through the National Council on Environment proposed for the year 2020.

Atanda said that the state emphases and notify the FG of the proposed plan during a meeting with the Minister of Environment in Abuja.

He said the state government needed the support of FG to achieve the objective.

“Government reserve is reserved a long time before most people were born and gazetted, and anybody or community can not go into the reserves.

“All illegal occupants of the reserve should vacate before the state government commences the tree planting; they have been felling trees and the forest is highly depleted, ” he warned.

He said there were provisions for loggers to conduct their business, warning that illegal operators would be arrested and prosecuted accordingly.

The commissioner added that nobody would be allowed to destroy government reserves, pointing out that those reserves were sources of revenue for the state and the pride of Nigerians

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