Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has reiterated the commitment of his administration towards ensuring a human friendly environment and sustainability of the forests by adopting ‘ Obeche’ as official state tree as part of efforts aimed at mitigating the effects of climate change and restoration of its natural environment.
Dr Fayemi stated this on Monday in a message commemorating this year’s International Day of Forests in Ado-Ekiti. He explained that the day was an occasion for both government and the people to take notice of the essential place that trees and forests have in maintaining natural environment.
While calling on other state Governors to emulate the state in the drive to restore the ecosystem, the Governor explained that throughout the last 50 years, deforestation and degradation of our natural environment have depleted the green and pleasant land in which our grandparents lived, into a world where we have to contend with erosion, flooding and extreme heat.
He revealed that his government has decided to make ‘Obeche’ the state tree because of its many benefits aside from timber which had been a product of export for ages.
Dr Fayemi stated that the state would begin by including Obeche tree in its programme of planting five endangered indigenous trees in every public secondary school in the state this year, as recently announced in its partnership with the Global Citizen campaign. He said the efforts aligned with the commitment to plant at least Five Hundred Thousand (500,000) trees every year, through community-led campaigns.
He said, “This year I have decided to mark the International Day of Forests by adopting a novel symbol that shows our commitment to the sustainability of our forests and natural environment. Today, Ekiti State will adopt an official State Tree as one of the symbols representing our collective endeavour as well as our aspirations towards mitigating the effects of climate change and restoring our natural environment.”
Many other Federations globally have state trees among their official symbols but in Nigeria, we will be the first to do so.
“After much thought and consultation, we have decided to adopt Obeche tree as the State Tree. Obeche is the best choice due to so many reasons. First, it grows all over the state in many environments. Secondly, it is known for growing to a huge and impressive size. Thirdly, it is economically and culturally important in so many ways – not only timber, where it has been an important export. Its shoots have been used as vegetable in soups; it hosts the moth from whose silk ‘Sanyan’ cloth is made.”