The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu the Second, has urged the Forestry Commission (FC), to scale up its efforts at protecting the forest and its resources.
He said the Board and Management needed to strengthen their monitoring and supervision role to reduce the involvement of workers of the Commission in illegal activities that were destroying the forest.
He accused some of the officers at the district and regional levels of deep involvement in illegal mining, and logging right inside the reserves and thwarting the efforts by government to safeguard the important natural resource.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu made the call when he received the new Board and Management of the FC to his Manhyia Palace in Kumasi.
The delegation was led by Mr. Edward Prah, the Board Chairman, and Mr. Samuel Afari Darteh, the Chief Executive Officer.
They had called to introduce themselves to the Asantehene, and to seek his advice and support for various initiatives designed to re-generate degraded forest and protect reserves.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu said indiscriminate destruction of the forest posed a threat not only to the survival of the people, but also the nation’s socio-economic development.
He said climatic change noticeable by extreme weather conditions had become a serious challenge to food and crop production, as farmers were unable to tell when it would be suitable to plant their crops.
He praised the Board for steps it had taken to promote eco-tourism and wildlife conservation, and said these would not only help to generate revenue, but also boost local tourism and recreation.
He pledged to give every needed support to the eco-tourism drive, adding that, he would consult with his chiefs to see how best to re-locate the Kumasi Zoological Gardens, which now sit at the centre of the city.
Mr. Prah said they had identified four priority areas, where they were going to concentrate their activities for the next four years.
These involve intensification of re-forestation programmes, eco-tourism, re-location of the Kumasi Zoological Gardens, and increased participation of industry players in afforestation.
He pledged that the Board would work with all stakeholders to protect the forest resources.
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