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Forest association urges more tree planting, security of estates

Desertification: Zulum flags off 1.2m trees planting in Borno

The Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN) on Monday urged the government to embark on aggressive tree planting to reduce the impact on global warming on the country due to the deleterious effects of deforestation.

The association also called on the federal government to rescue Nigeria’s forest estate from the hands of bandits, kidnappers and terrorists.

James Bola Odebiyi, chairman board of Trustees of FAN while speaking on the International Day of Forests after concluding its 43rd annual conference, noted that Nigeria must jettison the jamboree which consumed the initiative of the association towards tree planting and be deliberate about it in order to ensure sustainable development.

Odebiyi said the “continuous rise in world population every year and the evil of human activities in the form of deforestation and pollution have made it difficult for the world community to observe the activities of every individual and the issue has always been of concern and provocative”

Read also: World Forest Day: Environmentalists calls for climate action for cleaner, healthier environment

On his part, Ahmad Rufai Ibrahim, the president of FAN, lamented that insecurity is affecting research and legitimate activities in the forest estates of Nigeria as hoodlums have taken over urging the government on the need to rescue and reclaim it from criminals.

“A dangerous trend that has bedeviled our forest estate today is the issue of insecurity in our forests. It started gradually in 2003 and today has become a hydra-headed monster that has made our forests worse-off. Our researchers could no longer access and the legal activities could not take place because hoodlums have taken over the forest estates.”

Also, Olukayode Ogunsanwo, a professor and national secretary and Dapo Adewole, assistant secretary of FAN noted that “Nigeria’s forests are currently managed below international levels of standards, criteria and indicators thereby affecting negatively ecological, social and economic values of Nigeria with attendant environmental degradation, poverty, hunger and insecurity.

“Nigeria is facing a non-sustainability problem of her forest resources. There has been huge pressure on wood resources in making forests in Nigeria to be exposed to indiscriminate exploitation of familiar economic woods.

“We need to secure our forest estate resources for sustainable development. Above all, hoodlums, bandits, kidnappers and terrorists have hijacked the forest space and unless flushed out may have sustainable development.” ​