ODSG warns against forest encroachment

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Ondo State Government has warned that the reopening of free areas in forestry for logging activities is not a license to enter the closed Forest Reserve and doing otherwise would attract sanctions.

To this end, alotees, free area owners, and contractors are charged to remain within the constraints of the free areas and not encroach into the Forest Reserve.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Mr Dally Salau emphasized this during an interview with The Hope on the reopening of the forest for logging activities adding that before any activity is carried out, the contractors should get their permit and other necessary documents from the government.

Salau stressed that no flitching activity should be carried out in the Forest, whether Forest Reserve or Free areas, saying no application has been submitted and government has not approved any this year, adding that anyone n caught  flitching would be sanctioned.

According to him, the Task force would be moving around the forest round the clock to ensure that government laws are enforced and obeyed in all forests across the state.

His words: "We have Forest Reserves and Free Areas in forestry. The free areas belong to the individual landowners, who are protecting their lands in the forest. In order to reduce the hardship people may be encountering as a result of the closure, the Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has graciously approved that the free areas be reopened for logging activities.

' However, the reopening of the  free areas is not a license to enter the Forest Reserves and claim that they are in the free areas. It is not a license to do flitching. So if we discover any flitching activity whether in the Forest Reserves or free areas, it  is going to attract sanction. The Task Force would be more active to ensure that there is no encroachment in to the reserves and ensure that the order is enforced and obeyed'. He concluded.

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