Government is committed to preserving forest resources – Minister

Mr Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Deputy Eastern Regional Minister, has reiterated Government’s commitment to preserving, conserving and managing the country’s forest resources.

He therefore warned chainsaw and “galamsey” operators and others to desist from their negative activities, saying that “Government will not sit down unconcerned for the destruction of the forest to go on”.

Mr Terlabi was speaking at the celebration of the Eastern Regional World Environmental Day at Kwabeng in the Atiwa District on Friday.

He said the Eastern Region was saddled with several environmental challenges leading to the wanton destruction of the forest.

Mr Terlabi observed that deforestation was very pronounced in the Region as a result of bush burning, illegal mining, extensive use of firewood and charcoal as well as over exploitation of forest resources by timber firms.

He said trees, most especially the economic ones, had been destroyed which subsequently had affected the climatic conditions and destruction of habitats of wildlife in the Region.

Mr Terlabi observed that from an environmental point of view, the cause of the recent flooding could be due to the diversion of sections of the Birim River and its tributaries through illegal mining operations.

He therefore urged all stakeholders to make environmental issues and problems a priority on their agenda because it was high time they paid attention to where their resources came from.

Mr Terlabi also appealed to the authorities to resource the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to be able to undertake effective monitoring and prosecute environmental offenders.

Mr Felix Addo-Okyireh, Regional Director of EPA, urged all to change their attitudes and lifestyle towards forest resources.

He said as part of the celebration, the EPA had organized a tree- planting exercise at Akyem Adukrom and Kwabeng in the East Akyem Municipality and Atiwa District respectively.

Source: GNA

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