Mr Alex Asare, Head of Collaborative Unit of the Forestry Commission has called for the creation of a funding mechanism with contributions from all stakeholders to sustain the viability of the Forestry Forum.
The Forum is a platform for civil society organizations to exert pressure for transparency in forest resource management and offers opportunity for a wide variety of stakeholders to ensure that strategies, legal, institutional and policy reforms necessary to enhance good governance were achieved.
Mr Asare was speaking on the “The Role of Forestry Forum in Sustainable Forest Management” at the Second Regional Delegates Conference of the Ashanti Regional Forestry Forum in Kumasi on Wednesday.
He said there was the need to provide well-equipped offices and staff, to promote capacity building of the members for the proper execution of their roles and the best ways to embark on campaign and advocacy programmes.
He called on the members to rally solidly behind the plantation development programmes of the Commission.
Mr Asare further urged them to help check illegal chainsaw operations, which he said were a major cause of the depletion of the nation’s forest resources and undermining forest conservation.
He advised that the members should commit themselves to creativity, innovative systems and adopt selfless attitudes to encourage other forest stakeholders to co-operate in forest policy formulation and implementation.
Mrs. Mercy Owusu Ansah, National Facilitator of the European Union (EU)-Chainsaw Project, said the activities of chainsaw operators in the country were becoming difficult to control and it was therefore important for the forum to regularly meet to deliberate on how best to tackle the problem.
Welcoming the delegates, Mr Kwame Asamoah Dwomoh, Acting Ashanti Regional Vice-Chairman of the Forum said they were operating in five districts in the region and that efforts were being made to expand to cover additional six districts.
Mr Frank Ntiamoah, Secretary, said they were making positive impact and advised members to continue sacrificing while they made efforts to get funds to support the Forum’s activities.
Mrs. Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, National Secretary, commended the Regional Forum for its initiatives in spite of funding constraints.