SAMUEL AFARI Dartey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission has stated that profiting on the country’s forests without due regard for their sustainability, could make Ghana a net importer of wood in the next 20 years.
He indicated that his outfit was therefore poised to fight the menace of illegal forest operations such as chainsaw operation, forest degradation, illegal farming and mining also called “galamsey”.
He indicated that as a regulatory body, the Forestry Commission would collaborate with stakeholders to ensure prudent forest governance, the resource development and stewardship.
“I call on all stakeholders to join the campaign to secure our future, which depends on clean air, secured food, regulated climate and uninterrupted water supply,” he added.
Mr. Dartey stated these at a durbar to mark the maiden Forestry Week celebrations and World Forest Day held in Takoradi.
The celebration of the Forestry Week which was on the theme: “The Contributions of Forest to Humanity, Role of stakeholders”, sought to raise awareness on sustainable management, conservation and development of all types of forests.
He stressed that there was the need to involve the youth, who formed a critical percentage of the country’s population and workforce, to appreciate the enormity and challenges associated with the management of forest resources.
“The focus on the youth does not in any way negate other equally important stakeholders including traditional authorities, the donor community, government and the public at large who work as a cohesive force in protecting the ecology”, he assured.
Mr. Dartey revealed that the world lost about 13 million hectares of forest cover annually mainly in the tropical forests of South America and Africa including Ghana.
He stressed that securing the forest resources required joint stewardship of stakeholders with ambitions to pursue profitable and responsible forestry activities while continuing to show consideration for nature.
In an address read on his behalf, the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources called on Ghanaians to support the government plantations development programme to secure and renew the forest resources in order to optimize the flow of benefits from forests.
He gave the assurance that the government would take advantage of the potential market that had arisen in the Cape-Three-Points area in the Western Region as a result of the oil discovery, to develop the Ankasa National Park in the region to improve the livelihoods of the communities in the area.
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