Forestry Commission launches operation to halt forest depletion

The Western Regional Office of the Forestry Commission has launched an operation to stop the destruction of forest reserves through illegal farming and timber felling.

The exercise code-named “Operation Halt” would involve the surveillance to arrest and prosecute encroachers of Afau Hills, Anhwiaso North, Suraw, Sumtwitwi and Tano-Suraw Extension Forest reserves.

Mr. Kwakye Ameyaw, Regional Forestry Manager, who said these at the launch of the operation at Bibiani, encouraged people living around the forest reserves to help arrest encroachers of the forest.

He said exercise would include massive reforestation to restore degraded forests.

The Bekwai District Forestry Manager, Mr Nkansah Kwarteng warned chiefs against releasing portions of the reserves to settler farmers for farming since it was against the law.

Already five people are standing trial for cultivating cocoa and food crops in the Tano-Suraw Extension Forest Reserve.

Under the Forest Protection Decree 1974 (NRC 243) and Forest Amendment Act, 2002, (Act 624), it is unlawful to farm in a reserve without the permission of the Forestry Commission

Source: GNA

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