Northern Ghana said to lose about 22,000 hectares of tree species yearly

Mr Abu Iddrisu, the Northern Regional Director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has said  about 22,000 hectares of tree species are lost annually in the three northern regions and 16 million hectares are lost in Africa.

He said between 1938 and 1981, the area closed to forest in Ghana had reduced by 64 percent, from 472,000km to 17,200km and open woodland declined by 37 per cent.

Mr. Iddrisu was addressing the 2010 Northern Regional celebration of World Environment Day at Duuyin in the Tamale Metropolis under the theme; “Many species, one planet, one future”.

He said the situation had a direct effect on poverty adding that continues loss of biodiversity negatively impacts on soil fertility and agricultural productivity.

Mr. Iddrisu attributed the changing quality of the environment to over exploitation of both plants and animal resources and the actions and inactions.

He said people must not exploit the natural resources just to meet their immediate needs and livelihoods without the recourse to maintaining the vegetation.

“Unfortunately, all of us are part of the problem because most of us depend on the resources (fuel, wood, charcoal, medicinal plants, hunted wildlife) for our daily sustenance and survival”, he said.

Mr. Iddrisu appealed to District Assemblies, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations (CBOs), youth groups, chiefs, opinion leaders and individuals to collaborate to promote plant species conservation and the fragile environment.

The Deputy Northern Region Minister, Mr. Sam Nasamu Asabigi, said the Savannah ecological zone had over the past years experienced deforestation due to bad farming practices including hunting and overgrazing.

He said “we have to invest lots of energy and time in activities including tree planting, forestation and natural regeneration of degraded areas.”

Mr Asabigi said a travel across the Northern Region showed the negative culture of tree felling.

Source: GNA

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