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Stakeholders adopt FMNR approach to re-green environment
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Bolgatanga, June 17, GNA – Stakeholders working on the environment at a workshop held in Bolgatanga have called on government and communities to adopt the Farmer Managed Natural Re-generation (FMNR) method to protect and re-green the environment and forest reserves.

They said the environment was constantly degraded and lost its natural resources, and so there was the need for them to employ concerted efforts to protect it.

The FMNR, is being implemented by World Vision Ghana (WVG) in some Districts including; the Talensi, Garu, Kassena- Nankana and Bawku West Districts in the Upper East Region.

It adopts centuries-old methods of woodland management, called coppicing and pollarding to produce continuous tree growth, systematic re-generation and management of tree shrubs from trees, roots, and seeds.

The low cost and sustainable land restoration technique involves the selection of sprouts from the stumps of a tree and decision on how many stems should be allowed to grow on each stump and branches pruned off at regular intervals to stimulate straighter and faster growth.

The workshop brought together representatives from the beneficiary farmer groups from 20 communities in the Talensi District, staff of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MoFA), Municipal and District Planning Officers, Forestry Commission staff, the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS), and the media among others.

The stakeholders identified indiscriminate bushfires, overgrazing, felling of trees for agriculture, domestic and commercial purposes and unguided human activities as causes of environmental degradation and called for pragmatic measures.

Mr Stephen Edem Akpalu, Research Scientist at the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana disclosed that Ghana was ranked third behind Togo and Nigeria in Africa in tree losses and indicated that only 20 percent of the country’s forestry remained.

“Ghana losses about 20,000 hectors of trees annually and the country losses about two to five percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) through tree loses.

The country has also lost about 70 percent of wildlife some few decades ago and more than 80 percent of rural dwellers in Sub-Sahara Africa depend on medicinal foods.” The Research Scientist announced.

He indicated that trees played critical roles in the socio-economic development of each country and the continuous loss of the forest reserves and other plants could lead to loss of soil fertility leading to low crop yields, destroyed biodiversity and eco-system of the forest, loss of water reservation, adverse climate change, inconsistent rainfall pattern.

Mr Akpkalu stated that trees had multiple purposes ranging from agriculture, air quality, provision of income through the sale of the produce from plants such as moringa, mangoes among others.

The Research Scientist therefore advocated the adoption of the FMNR by communities and farmers, institutions and enforcement of environmental protection by-laws and training on bushfire management to combat bushfires.

Mr Timothy Anan-Bay Akanpabadai, the WVG Northern Region Operations Manager said, “it is easier to practise FMNR because the people would be introduced to its practices to replicate it in other places.”

Mr Samuel Abasiba, the Talensi District Manager of FMNR, showcasing the gains the District had made through the implementation of the FMNR technique, said the involvement of traditional leaders and the District Assembly was key to achieving success as they wielded much influence in the communities.

Whilst urging government to subsidize Liquefied Petroleum Gas to help reduce the demand for charcoal, he called for attitudinal change and the development of positive mind-set towards protecting the environment.

Source: GNA

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