As part of efforts to restore the integrity of her forest assets and preserve them in line with global practices, the Edo State Government has commissioned 39 motorcycles for her Forestry Department to penetrate hard-to-reach sections of its lush forests and guard against encroachment.
The Edo State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Dame Omoua Oni-Okpako Esq., said the newly commissioned motorcycles will aid in the patrol of the interiors of the state’s forest reserves, especially sections that are inaccessible to vehicles.
The commissioner, who was represented by Director, Administration and Supply, Ministry of Environment and Sustainability, Mr. Clement Agatha, said that the new development would help check the removal of forest assets produced by concessioners.
She said the state government was committed to reversing the depletion of her forest resources as a result of indiscriminate tree felling among other activities.
According to her, “Edo State is experiencing serious and accelerated decline in her forest resources due to illegal and indiscriminate felling of trees, invasion of the high forest by cocoa migrant farmers, de-reservation of forestland by individuals, corporate bodies and communities for expansion, as well as wood waste from poor harvesting and conversion at stump site with power chain saw across the state.”
She continued, “we have to strive to bring nature back to its original state so our focus now is on planting trees and conserving the remaining existing ones.
Noting that the ministry will not tolerate any form of illegalities that further degrade the state’s forests and jeopardise the ecosystem, she enjoined forest officers and Edo residents to help the state government preserve endangered species in the forests by reporting unlawful activities in the forest.
She said, “For effective forest sustainability, community leaders, corporate bodies, individuals and other stakeholders in the state should form a part of the process of protecting the forest. The total forest estate has been so depleted that much of the flora and fauna species are being endangered and others have gone extinct.”