Cannabis Planters Deforesting Ekiti Reserve, Says Commissioner

The Ekiti State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Femi Ajayi, has lamented the deforestation of the Ise Forest Reserve in Ise Ekiti in the Ise-Orun Local Government Area of the state by elements planting cannabis.

The commissioner said, “One of the greatest challenges in the forest of Ise is the deforestation occasioned by the people that are planting cannabis who cut down economic trees at a premature stage to pave way for their illegal activities.”

Ajayi, who spoke in Ado Ekiti, the state capital, on Friday during the signing of Memorandum of Understanding on Ise Forest Reserve Chimpanzee Conservation between Ekiti State Government and South-West Niger Delta Forest Project, said, “With this conservation, I think those people who are planting cannabis will find their way out in addition to the numerous benefits of the project”.

The Commissioner for Environment and Natural Resources, Iyabo Fakunle-Okieimen, who signed on behalf of the state government, said the five-year renewable partnership project with SWNDFP involving 33.3 kilometres of Ise forest being conserved for this project “is to protect wildlife especially chimpanzee.”

SWNDFP Director, Racheal Ashegbofe, who lauded Governor Kayode Fayemi’s commitment to conservation of forests, said the project would “protect the area from encroachment from the devastation it has experienced over the years and as well nurture the forest back to where it is supposed to be, a pristine forest that would mitigate against climate change”.

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