Ekiti State Government, with support of the Environmental
Investigation Agency (EIA), USA, has commenced implementation of a
14-year work-plan on sustainable management of forests in the State
for commercial purpose.
The Chairman of the Ekiti State Forestry Commission, Mr. Kayode
Olaosebikan who made this known in Ado Ekiti, said that the Commission
was established in accordance to the State Forests Law of 2016 to
develop a more stakeholder-involved and longer-term structure to
enable better management of forest resources in the State.
Mr. Olaosebikan added that the work-plan tagged ‘The Forest We Want: A
Roadmap For Sustainable Management of Ekiti Forest (2021-2035)’, was
created in collaboration with the New Initiative For Social
According to him, the Fayemi led administration considers the
environment as central to enhancing livability and securing the
economic future for Ekiti citizens.
He said that the forests can be used to combat climate change and
biodiversity loss, prevent erosion, protect soil fertility as well as
conserve ground water amongst others.
Olaosebikan said that it has become pertinent to regenerate and manage
the sector to a sustainable level to safeguard livelihoods and foster
related industries while generating new knowledge and investments in
Highlighting the goals of the Commission towards achieving the desired
results, Olaosebikan said that the first goal was to reclaim the loss
of Forest Reserve Estates, Assess forest stock and reverse the loss of
forest stocks to a level that restores ecosystem services for more
than half of the deforested reserves by 2035.
He added that productive forest stock/cover would be increased by
between about 4,000 and 5,000 hectares per year through a combination
of afforestation, reforestation and natural regeneration processes.
The Commission Chairman also stated that the State Government is
furthermore promoting sustainable forest governance and trade adding
that government would significantly reduce pressure on the already
degraded forests and allow for investment and restoration.
Elucidating on the issue of the Chimpanzee Conservation Landmark at
Ise Ekiti, Olaosebikan recalled that at the beginning of 2021,
Governor Fayemi signed a memorandum of collaboration with South
West/Niger Delta Forest Project to establish a Conservation Area
within Ise Forest Reserve, to protect the last remaining stronghold in
Ekiti of the unique South-Western Nigerian sub-species of endangered
He said that the project would also feature a strong livelihood
component for communities adjoining the reserve and has already
generated jobs for the 20 local people recruited and trained as
project conservation rangers.
Olaosebikan also noted that Ekiti State has been a focal State for the
World Bank-backed ‘WORLD BANK NEWMAP AFFORESTATION’ since 2020 with
the reforestation of 250 hectares as part of a multi-pronged erosion
control strategy out of which 160 hectares are mainly for indigenous
species in the existing nine Forest Reserves and the rest is
farmer-led plantings of fruit and timber species.
Reiterating the commitment of the Fayemi led administration to the
rapid development of all sector in the State particularly as it
relates to food security, Olaosebikan however solicited the continued
cooperation of all stakeholders and the support of well to do
individuals and corporate organizations for the task of improving the
lot of the people in the State.