The Oyo State Government has warned members of the public to desist from illegal tree felling and indiscriminate bush burning.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi gave this warning while declaring open the 2018 International Day of Forest (IDF) celebration held at Methodist Grammar School, Bodija area, Ibadan.
Prince Oyewumi, speaking through the Special Adviser on Agriculture to Governor Ajimobi, Prof. Adetokunbo Adekunle stressed that illegal tree felling was creating degraded forests. He disclosed that govrnment has placed surveillance on the forest reserves to apprehend those nvolved in the illegal act.
The Commissioner stressed the importance of trees, pointing out that the environment without trees is prone to hazard. While planting trees as part of activities to mark the IDF, he advised people and it is advised people to plant trees in order to ensure a greener, healthier, happier and sustainable environment.
He stated that the state government has restored depleted forests through collaboration with the local and foreign partners, adding that government has signed Memorandum of Understanding with the private investors for reforestation of the degraded forest reserves.
In his lecture with the theme “Forest for Sustainable Cities”, the Patron of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) forest Centre, Dr. David Oladipo explained that the UN has set aside March 21 of every year to celebrate the International Day of Forest.
Accordng to him, deforestation in Africa as a result of inadequate sensitization and awareness was making the environment dryer.
Dr. Oladiipo, maintained that afforestation is a collective responsibility as the government cannot do it alone and consequently called on the State government to implement a policy at which approval must be given before land can be cleared.
He also enjoined schools to set up Young Forester and Tree Clubs for students.
In her own speech, the Director, Federal Comptroller of Environment, Oyo State, Mrs Aina Adetola called on the State Government to place more priority on the forest reserves as most of them were being degraded.