Dr Kayode Fayemi’s government in Ekiti State, with support of the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), USA, has commenced implementation of a 14-year work-plan on sustainable management of forests in the State for commercial purpose.

The Chairman of the Ekiti State Forestry Commission, Mr. Kayode Olaosebikan who made this known in Ado Ekiti, said that the Commission was established in accordance to the State Forests Law of 2016 to develop a more stakeholder-involved and longer-term structure to enable better management of forest resources in the State.

Mr. Olaosebikan added that the work-plan tagged ‘The Forest We Want: A Roadmap For Sustainable Management of Ekiti Forest (2021-2035)’, was created in collaboration with the New Initiative For Social Development (NISD).

According to him, the Fayemi-led administration considers the environment as central to enhancing livability and securing the economic future for Ekiti citizens.

He said that the forests can be used to combat climate change and biodiversity loss, prevent erosion, protect soil fertility as well as conserve ground water amongst others.

Olaosebikan said that it has become pertinent to regenerate and manage the sector to a sustainable level to safeguard livelihoods and foster related industries while generating new knowledge and investments in new sectors.

Highlighting the goals of the Commission towards achieving the desired results, Olaosebikan said that the first goal was to reclaim the loss of Forest Reserve Estates, Assess forest stock and reverse the loss of forest stocks to a level that restores ecosystem services for more than half of the deforested reserves by 2035.

He added that productive forest stock/cover would be increased by between about 4,000 and 5,000 hectares per year through a combination of afforestation, reforestation and natural regeneration processes.

The Commission Chairman also stated that the State Government is furthermore promoting sustainable forest governance and trade adding that government would significantly reduce pressure on the already degraded forests and allow for investment and restoration.

Elucidating on the issue of the Chimpanzee Conservation Landmark at Ise Ekiti, Olaosebikan recalled that at the beginning of 2021, Governor Fayemi signed a memorandum of collaboration with Southwest/Niger Delta Forest Project to establish a Conservation Area within Ise Forest Reserve, to protect the last remaining stronghold in Ekiti of the unique South-Western Nigerian sub-species of endangered Nigeria-Cameroon chimpanzees.

He said that the project would also feature a strong livelihood component for communities adjoining the reserve and has already generated jobs for the 20  local people recruited and trained as project conservation rangers.

Olaosebikan also noted that Ekiti State has been a focal State for the World Bank-backed ‘WORLD BANK NEWMAP AFFORESTATION’ since 2020 with the reforestation of 250 hectares as part of a multi-pronged erosion control strategy out of which 160 hectares are mainly for indigenous species in the existing nine Forest Reserves and the rest is farmer-led plantings of fruit and timber species.

Reiterating the commitment of the Fayemi led administration to the rapid development of all sector in the State particularly as it relates to food security, Olaosebikan however solicited the continued cooperation of all stakeholders and the support of well to do individuals and corporate organizations for the task of improving the lot of the people in the State.


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