The Kwara state Government has warned residents against deforestation and advised them to embrace afforestation by planting trees.
The government said this measure would secure our environment and the planet for the benefit of generations to come and check the adverse effect of climate change.
Mr Abraham Ojo, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forestry, gave the advice on Tuesday in Ilorin at the commemoration of the 2021 International Day of Forests.
Ojo said tree planting would protect the environment against hazards and climate change.
The permanent secretary, who said this year’s celebration with the theme: “FOREST RESTORATION: A pathway to recovery and well-being”, called for action in view of the huge annual losses and climate change issues.
“These issues need the attention of mobilising resources towards restoring and expanding existing forests.
“Forests are vital to the health of everyone and they provide humanity with countless benefits because they serve as part of our livelihood.
“They provide clean air we breathe and the water we drink and they act as our natural defence against climate changes,” he said.
The Director of Forestry at the ministry, Alhaji Babatunde Mahmud, underscored the need for every citizen to know the importance of tree planting.
He added it was also important for the people to know how to protect it for its usefulness and to secure the future.
Mahmud dismissed speculation that the state government had delegated forest responsibilities to any private entity.
He warned that on no account should anyone disguise as the state forest officer to extort money from anyone, adding that anybody caught will be sanctioned.
Mahmud urged all to contact the ministry for relevant information in order not to be misled.
The Chief Executive Officer, Save Sahara Network, an NGO, Dr Babalola Folaranmi, in his goodwill message, said the danger lied to human lives when a tree fell and not replaced.
He advised that when a tree fell, three to five trees planting should be done for the survival of all.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, in attendance were the Director of Personnel, Finance and Supply, Hajia Memunat Yakub; the Director of Environment, Mr Towoju Gabriel; Director Planning, Mrs Rose Ajanaku; and the Chairman, Plant Sellers Association, Alhaji Muritala Olorunoje.
Also present at the occasion were representatives of Sawmillers and Processed Wood Producers as well as the Marketers Association of Nigeria and Kwara State forestry officers.