Ogun State government has reiterated its commitment to preserve the natural environment and curb the menace of global warming by planting one million trees of various species in the nine forest reserves of the state.
The Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Taiwo Oludotun made this known during the official flag off of year 2023 planting exercise held at area J3 reserve in Ijebu East Local Government area of the state.
Engr Taiwo Oludotun while flagging the commencement of the afforestation/reforestation programme said the state government has given the ministry a mandate to ensure the planting of trees in all the forest reserves of the state and also protect the conservation area.
He said the one million trees would cover about 750 hectares of land in the reserves, with about 250,000 to be planted within this quarter of the year by the ministry.
He said the ministry has commenced the nurseries for the trees earlier in the year.
“Presently, we already have 250,000 seedlings in our nurseries at our various reserves, couple with over 80,000 indigenous tree seedlings we received from FRIN.
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The indigenous trees absorb carbon more compared to the exotic trees. We also have the local stakeholders in wood business that are willing to join us in the planting of these trees, we will also engage the locals and individuals in Agro-Forestry (which is about another 300,000 trees), and another 400,000 trees through coppice management within the 9 reserves in Ogun state. The ministry in conjunction with a sister agency will also plant 10,000 trees around the Gateway International AgroCargo Airport, thereby ensuring that it provides good ambience for the area and replace indigenous trees that were uprooted during the construction of the airport”, Engr. Oludotun said.
Also, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi said afforestation is not only about making money for the state but it also gives good health and wellness to the people of the state because the tree species are medicinal and useful for treating sicknesses and diseases hence the choice of indigenous tree seedlings.
He said for the state to reach the proposed number for the quarter, the ministry has engaged important stakeholders in the forest industry such as the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), Forest Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), and other locals in the reserves for the operations.
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