Illegal felling of trees in Abuja now attracts N100, 000 per tree – FCTA

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Fall a tree, replace with two

By: Bamidele Fashube

IN order to prevent arbitrary felling of trees, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has declared as offence for residents to cut trees planted in private compounds without permission from the government.

The authority, through the Department of Parks and Recreation, warned that anyone caught felling matured trees in both private and public places would be sanctioned by paying N100, 000 per tree.

Director of the Department, Hajia Riskatu Abdulazeez disclosed during an inspection in the territory noted that, “once trees planted in private houses have grown, it becomes a public property that requires the permission of the government before it can be removed.”

This gesture, she noted was to further mitigate climate change impacts on the city, and also prevent reckless actions that could endanger the lives of the residents.

She said once a tree is cut down with permission from the Department, it is also mandatory that two trees are planted as a replacement for each tree removed.

According to her, estate developers who remove trees to pave ways for their projects are compelled by law to pay and replant the trees.

“Cutting down trees is not allowed in the city; we have a penalty. The policy stipulates that if you plant a tree in your compound, once it is grown, it is no more your tree, it has become public property.

“Before such trees are cut down, the permission of the department of parks and recreation must be sought. Anyone who cuts down a tree illegally, depending on the size and age of the tree, such person will pay a fine of N100, 000 per tree and will also be compelled to plant a minimum of two trees as a replacement.

“Even when permission is granted to anyone to legally remove trees, such trees must be replaced with two trees and if there is no space within the place where the trees were removed, the department will provide a place where the trees can be planted,” she stated in a statement issued on Monday.

“We don’t plant trees for environmental protection alone, but for beautification and aesthetic appeal. Trees in general have enormous benefits and importance for human beings. The oxygen we breathe is from the trees, we breathe out carbon dioxide which the trees use to live.

“Apart from the life the trees give us, it also douses noise, reduces glare and mitigates the effects of climate change. We are all felling the effects of climate change, it is attributed to the rate at which we cut down trees, leading to deforestation.

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