As part of its efforts to restore the country’s ecosystem, the Oyo State government has unfolded plans to plant no fewer than two million trees before 2023.
The Special Assistant to the Oyo State Governor Ademola Aderinto, made the disclosure at the 2021 World Environment Day event organised by the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, Faculty of Public Health, University of Ibadan, Ibadan.
He said apart from this, the state’s current administration would also ensure the proper disposal of waste.
Speaking on the 2021 theme: “Restoring Ecosystems.” he said anthropogenic activities like clearing of new sites, use of combustion engines and hunting result in deforestation and encroachment into reserves were destructive to the environment.
“Before the end of this administration, we hope to plant not less than two million trees within the state.Until we rise to take back our ecosystem and restore it, the situation begins to worsen,” he said.
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In his presentation, the Zonal Director of NESREA, Mr Elijah Nelson Udofia, said his organisation was working towards ecosystem restoration by air quality regulation, vehicular regulation and its vehicular and generator control programme.
He said the agency was also pursuing desertification regulations, CITES regulation and encouraging tree planting.
On his part, Prof. Olukayode Yekin Ogunsanwo, a professor of Wood Products Utilisation, Department of Forest Production & Products, University of Ibadan in his presentation titled, “Restoration of the Ecosystem for Sustainable Development” said human activities are having negative impact on ecosystems.
While quoting the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, he said:” at the beginning of the 20th century, human activities changed ecosystems more rapidly than ever before and there are grave consequences of overuse and abuses of the ecosystems to such an extent that the world had no option than to call for deliberate actions and concerted efforts at restoring the ecosystem integrity.”
He stressed that the consequences of these disturbances to ecosystems include large scale deforestation and forest land degradation, irregular climate variability, global warming, flooding, and loss of biodiversity among others.
However, he said efficient environmental extension services, strong advocacies and effective forest policing, could help in the process of ecosystem restoration.