Obaseki’s reforms:  Edo tasks communities, NGOs, corporate bodies, others on forest conservation

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The Edo State Government has urged for continued support from community leaders, corporate bodies, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), and other well-meaning stakeholders to deepen efforts at rolling back the effects of deforestation and ensuring sustainability of forest reserves in the state.

Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Oni-Okpako Esq., made the call while commissioning 39 newly acquired motorcycles to aid in the patrol of the interiors of the state’s forest reserves, especially sections that are inaccessible to vehicles.

She noted, “Deforestation and its resultant effects are creeping on us. We either salvage our forest now or lose it forever. Our focus now is on planting of trees and conserving the remaining existing ones. So, this Ministry will not tolerate any form of illegalities that will further degrade our forest and jeopardise the ecosystem.”

“I wish to also emphasise here that Government cannot do it all. For effective forest sustainability, community leaders, corporate bodies, individuals and other stakeholders in the sector should form a part of the process of protecting the forest, if for no reasons, but for posterity,”Dame Oni-Okpako added.

“We should not look at the Forest reserve as Government property that could be abused. Unlawful forest activities should be reported to the Forestry office immediately and offenders would be prosecuted accordingly.

“As a state, and as a people, let’s join hands together to preserve these Natural resources that God has bequeathed to us. This time, it is not only the timber trees but everything in it. The Total forest estate has been so depleted that the flora and fauna species are being endangered and others have gone extinct. We have to strive to bring nature back to its original position,” she urged.