Deploy Modern Techniques to Conserve Forest Reserves, HoS Charges Foresters

Adaptation to current dynamics of forestry practice by Foresters, such as modern ways of curbing insects and pests, invasion of forests, use of data analysis and artificial intelligence to monitor forest ecosystems and generating assistance with migration of tree species, to build a climate resilient Forestry amongst others, will further promote conservation of Forest Reserves.

Ogun State Head of Service (HoS), Mr. Kolawole Fagbohun, who stated this while declaring open a-day lecture, organised as part of activities to mark International Day of Forests 2024, with the theme, “Forests and Innovation: New Resolution For A Better World”, at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Mr. Fagbohun noted that deforestation, degradation, land usage conflict, lack of governance enforcement, climate change and invasion of forests by illegal dwellers were factors affecting effective growth of forest, calling for joint control by all and sundry.

The Head of Service, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Service Matters, Mr. Dipo Ogunfowora, noted that the state had constantly tackle challenges by evacuating intruders from its nine Reserves, planting of more trees to avoid deforestation and various partnerships with private entities to promote forest regeneration.

He added that conservation of trees was a collective responsibility of all, warning that illegal activities such as, burning of trees, farm cultivation on Forest Reserves, felling of trees, chemical pollution and depletion of ozone layers, among others, would have adverse effect on the society.

Mr. Fagbohun underscored the need to preserve forests through awareness campaigns on the significance of forests and developing more effective ways to checkmate intruders, among others, calling on residents of the state to report all illegal activities to government.

Speaking, the state Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Taiwo Oludotun, disclosed that a platform for online payment for logging operation had been set up by the Ministry to block revenue leakages arising from logging operations.

Engr. Oludotun, represented by his Permanent Secretary, Mr. Timothy Olatunji also lauded the state Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun for his support in achieving the set target of planting over one million tree seedlings on 848.33 hectares in Forest Reserves across the state last year.

He informed that the Ministry also planted 4,080 trees at Ogun Agro- Cargo Airport at Iperu in Ikenne Local Government Area, to improve the aesthetics of the place, just as a 4000 hectares of wild-life sanctuary was acquired at Itasin in Ogun East Senatorial District, while motorcycles, tractors, patrol vehicles were procured to improve monitoring activities.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Timothy Olatunji, who spoke through the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry, Mr. Kayode Onanuga, enjoined the public to imbibe the culture and practice of afforestation through aggressive tree planting and desist from deforestation.

In their good will messages, Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Sesan Fagbayi, his counterpart in the Ministry of Agriculture, Hon. Bolu Owotomo; Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Hon. Damilola Otubanjo; Chairman, House of Assembly Committee Chairman on Agriculture and Forestry, Hon. Folu Salami and others, affirmed that forest maintenance and protection were pivotal to the sustainability of human lives and the environment.

High point of the event was the symbolic planting of trees by representative of the state HoS, top government functionaries, Permanent Secretaries, Directors in the Ministry and some invited guests.