Intl Day of Forests: Why We've Consistently Worked On Our Reserves, Ogun Commissioner 

The Ogun State Commissioner for forestry, Engr. Taiwo Oludotun, says the State government has consistently worked on the protection and regeneration of its nine forest reserves, because of its natural barrier to disease transmission between animals and humans.  
Engr. Taiwo said this at Obas Complex, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, during the commemoration of International Day of Forests with the theme "Forests and Health".
He affirmed that forests play a central role in combating the biggest health and environmental threat facing humanity, increasing positive emotions and decreasing fatigue, anxiety, and tension.
 He said reports have shown that over the years, forests boost mental and physical health as they enhance immunity against chronic diseases, combating environmental hazards in global climate change.
While lamenting the illegal activities of some unscrupulous individuals engaging in tree felling, log conservation, and farming in the forest reserves, he said that both insects and humans damage around 35 million hectares of forests annually.

“With all the benefits derivable from the forest, it is important for us to know that forests are under threat and need our help. 10 million hectares-roughly the equivalent of 14 million football pitches of forest were lost per year to deforestation between 2015 and 2020. Forest insects damage around 35 million hectares of forest annually, while fire affected approximately 98 million hectares of forest globally in 2015”, Engr. Taiwo said.

 He called on stakeholders to support government efforts at ensuring forests were preserved for present gains and future benefits, warning that the State government would not spare anyone culpable of deforestation.

In his remark, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi emphasise that forests are sources of food for healthy living and medicine, urging all and sundry to maintain them accordingly.

           Meanwhile, the Ministry had earlier organised an inter-schools debate, with Mayflower, Ikenne emerging first, while second and third positions went to Baptist Girls College and Abeokuta Grammar school respectively.

Highpoint of the event was the sensitisation rally held on the need for the public to plant trees and a symbolic tree planting exercise done by the outgoing Head of Service,Dr Nafiu Aigoro, the Commissioner for Forestry, Engr. Taiwo Oludotun, the Permanent Secretary Dr. Rotimiolu Akinlesi and major Stakeholders in the forest industry at the Arcade ground Oke-Mosan.

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