Ogun Govt Warns Against Illegal Forest Operations

Ogun Govt Warns Against Illegal Forest Operations

The Ogun State government has warned all forest users against illegal operations in the nine government forest reserves across the state.

The government, however, stressed the need for forest users to strictly abide by the rules of engagement in the course of their businesses.

The Commissioner for Forestry, Mr Kolawole Lawal, handed down the warning while addressing a delegation of the Association of Timber Contractors, Ijebu Branch, in Abeokuta, the state capital.

“The state government is not against legitimate businesses in the forest reserves, yet it expects contractors to operate in tandem with the existing forestry laws of the state.”

Mr Lawal noted that the primary responsibility of the Ministry was to ensure rapid cultivation and conservation of forest resources for the socio-economic development and environmental sustainability of the state.

He, therefore, warned that government would not fold its arms and watch the forest reserves being destroyed and depleted as a result of illegal operations.

“The obsolete forestry laws had been reviewed and currently await necessary legislation by the State House of Assembly. When passed into law, they would prescribe the necessary punishment for perpetrators of illegal activities in forest reserves in the state”.

According to the commissioner, the Ministry would resist all forms of illegalities in the forest reserves just as a ban on unauthorised logging and establishment of new settlement within the forest reserves subsists.

He also warned that any traditional ruler caught allocating land without government permission would be decisively dealt with in accordance with existing forestry law.

In his response, the leader of the delegation Mr Mukaila Adekoya appreciated government’s efforts in curbing illegalities in the forest reserves.

He also assured the commissioner of the necessary support of association to further wage war against all forms of illegal operations within their jurisdiction.

Wildfire Ravages Forest, Buildings In Southern France

Wildfires that raged across southern France on Wednesday left behind a trail of ravaged forest, scrubland and buildings.

Local resident Jerome Massolini, who said a fire began just 200 metres from where he lives in La Londe-les-Maures, saw both his home and car parking/ caravan repair business destroyed.

“I went to bed with my wife and when we switched the light off, I turned and I saw light around the shutters. So I wondered, I asked my wife, ‘did you leave the light on?’ She answered, ‘No, I did not leave the light on.’ So I got up, opened the shutters and saw the flames in the cypress trees over there.”

“It took us 30 seconds to out of bed, get the little girl out of her bed, take our two dogs, get in the car. And when we got out, the firefighters were already in front of the gate. So I think 10 minutes had already passed before the fire started,” Massolini told Reuters.

French Police officers were at the site investigating the cause of the fire.

The blaze was the latest of several wind-whipped fires that are destroying the hills and slopes that spill into the Mediterranean Sea between the Marseilles and the city of Nice in the southeastern corner of France.

“I can’t fathom another explanation than a criminal one. Now, as always, the person won’t be caught. I don’t think I am wrong in saying this. Well, they are just the worst type of criminals,” said Massolini.

Ogun Govt. To Plant 1.5 Million Trees Across Forest Reserves

Ogun, NLC, TUCThe Ogun state government said it is planting about 1.5million trees in 2017.

This is to regenerate seven of its depleted forest reserves, which have been degraded to about 5% of their original capacity by activities of illegal timber operators across its forest in the state.

This disclosure was made by the State Commissioner for Forestry, Mr. Kola Lawal, during the International Day of Forestry with the theme ” Forests Energy” held in Abeokuta, the state capital.

The Commissioner said that the state government is reviewing its various laws on forestry to strengthen existing laws, and recommend stricter punishment for illegal operators across the state.

”We have nine forest reserves in Ogun state, seven out of the nine have been degraded to about 5% of their original capacity but the state government under Governor Ibikunle Amosun, has done a lot in its afforestation programme, for example, in 2016 we planted 500,000 seedlings, this year (2017) we are planning to plant 1.5 million seedlings so that we can regenerate our forest reserves”.

”We know the government alone cannot do it, that is why we are frightening our relationship with private investors and private sectors”, he said.

The Commissioner further said: ”The current forestry laws in place was last reviewed in 2006 but because of the governor’s mission to rebuild the state, we are reviewing the existing laws because they can no longer stand the challenges of the current time, this you are going to see in the next couple of months when the reviewed laws are going to be presented to the State House of Assembly for passage”

” Most of the laws are obsolete, that is why we need to have a look at them with a view of reviewing them, there are some without punitive measures which allow these people to do whatever they like in the reserves, we know we should strengthen and enhance the law to be able to arrest the situation” he concluded.