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New forest reserve management plans soon

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The Forestry Commission (FC) is to update or develop and document new forest reserve management plans for all forest reserves in the country.

Twenty forest reserves have therefore been selected as pilot areas of which four are in the Eastern Region, namely Nsuensa-Bediako, Esukawkaw, Pra-Anuonand and Worebong South.

To that end, a two day planning workshop had been held at Akyem Ofoase in the Akyemmansa District, first of the four forest reserve areas in the region, to introduce to stakeholders a draft management plan for the Nsuensa-Bediako Forest Reserve.

The Eastern Regional Forestry Manager, Mr J. E. Manu, said the workshop aimed at bringing together all key stakeholders for discussion, comments and inputs of which some or all could be incorporated in the final plan to ensure effective and sustainable management of forest reserves.

He explained that the objective of the workshop was to produce or develop a forest management plan for Nsuensa-Bediako reserve based on broad views of stakeholders that reflected on socio-economic, cultural and environmental, protective and conservation values.

That he said would show the way forward for effective and efficient Forestry Commission and Forest Services Division implementation towards sustainable management and development.

Mr Manu said the Nsuensa-Bediako Forest Reserve management plan was written in 1959 to cover a period of five years but there had been no review since.

The Kade District Forestry Manager, Mr Joseph Bempah, noted that a meeting of stakeholders like the one at Ofoase was in response to the Forestry Commission’s intention of using it as one of the tools for integrated forest management planning system in pursuance of the policy objectives of managing the forests of Ghana.

He said that would make for environmental protection and production of domestic and commercial produce.

The Director of Operations of the Forestry Commission, Mr Alex Boadu, called on communities close to reserves to look for alternative livelihoods.

He said they should look for viable ventures and invest in them, citing bee-keeping as an example and said if it was well managed, the investment could generate enough revenue.

Mr Boadu said the future of the nation depended on its forests, which should be well- managed for the benefit of posterity.

Source: GNA

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