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Government Reviews Forest And Wildlife Policy   
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Government has reviewed the policy on Forest and Wildlife to ensure conservation and sustainable development of resources in the sector.

The policy is to promote the rehabilitation and restoration of degraded landscapes through forest plantation development and enrichment planting.

Mr Musah Abu-Juam, Technical Director in charge of Forestry at the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, said this at the National Colloquium on Forest and Wildlife resource management in Accra.

The colloquium is part of the third Forestry week and Greening Ghana Day celebration on the theme “Celebrating Our Forest for Sustainable Development.”

He said the review was triggered by a number of challenges in the forest and wildlife sectors, including high-level deforestation and forest degradation.

He said the policy was also to promote the development of viable forest and wildlife-based industries and livelihood, particularly in the value-added processing sectors.

“To promote and develop mechanisms for transparent governance, equity sharing and citizen’s participation in the forest and wildlife management,” he added.

He said the Forestry Commission was shifting its focus from timberlization to biodiversity conservation and eco-tourism.

The Technical Director said there was also an emphasis on savannah eco-system management and small medium forest enterprise promotion.

Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, speaking on the role of the Commission in National Development said, forest and logging contributed 2.2 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product of the country in 2013.

He said the main drivers of deforestation could be attributed to agriculture expansion, wood harvesting, urbanisation and mining activities.

He said the Commission had trained public prosecutors to handle illegal offences of all kinds with intensified public awareness.

He called on government to make available resources on time to facilitate the activities of the Commission.
Source: GNA

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