Oyo Govt Warns Residents Against Illegal Tree Felling
The Oyo State Government has warned members of the public to desist from illegal tree felling and indiscriminate bush burning across the state.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development in the state, Mr Oyewole Oyewumi, who gave the warning, noted that offenders would be punished accordingly.
He spoke during the week while declaring open the 2018 International Day of Forest (IDF) at the Methodist Grammar School, Bodija in Ibadan, the state capital.
Oyewumi, who was represented at the event by the Special Adviser on Agriculture to Governor Abiola Ajimobi, Professor Adetokunbo Adekunle, stressed that the importance of trees in the society cannot be overestimated.
According to him, an environment that is devoid of trees is prone to hazard and it is advisable for all to plant at least a tree so as to ensure a greener environment.
The commissioner stated that the state government has restored all depleted forests through collaboration with local and foreign investors to improve afforestation.
He decried that the degraded forests were as a result of illegal felling, noting that government has placed surveillance on the forest reserves to apprehend those who are involved in the illegal act.
Oyewumi, however, called on all and sundry to support tree planting, stressing that it has become necessary to achieve greener, healthier, happier and sustainable environment.
The Patron of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Forest Centre, Dr David Oladiipo, also delivered a lecture with the theme “Forest for Sustainable Cities” at the event.
He explained that the United Nations has set aside March 21 to commemorate IDF because of the importance of tree to humanity.
Dr Oladiipo also lamented that the rate of deforestation in Africa, as a result of inadequate sensitisation and awareness, was already harming the environment.
He, however, pointed out that afforestation is a collective responsibility as the government cannot do it alone and consequently called on the Oyo State government to implement a policy in which approval must be given before land can be cleared.
He further appealed to principals of various schools to inaugurate ‘Young Forester and Tree Clubs’ in their institutions to save the environment.
The Director, Federal Comptroller of Environment in the state, Mrs Aina Adetola, also called on the state government to place more priority on the forest reserves.