Ghana is losing its forests – National Forestry Forum

The National Forestry Forum of Ghana (NFF-Ghana), a non–governmental organization that fights unacceptable practices in the forestry sector, has held a forum for stakeholders to identify bad practices in the forestry sector in the Region.

The stakeholders included chiefs, security agencies, Forestry Commission, Assembly Members, the Ghana Education Service and the media.

The stakeholders identified illegal mining activities, charcoal burning, felling of tree, bush burning and activities of Fulani headsmen as some of the unacceptable practices in the forestry sector in the Region.

The chiefs stressed the need for District Assemblies in the Region to support them to enact bylaws to tackle some of the environmental degradation issues in the Region.

The Chief of Kalbeon, Naba Apassenaba III, said if the Assemblies stood by them, they could curb some of the environmental degradation problems in the Region particularly bush burning, illegal mining and indiscriminate tree felling for charcoal burning.

Mrs. Doreen A. Yeboah, the Project Co-coordinator of NFF-Ghana, called on the Assembly Members who were part of the forum to impress upon their District Assemblies in the Region to ensure that they factored the concerns into their Medium Term Development Plans on strategies that would help curb the situation.

She expressed worry that Ghana’s forest resource was dwindling at an alarming rate due to poor forest governance and that the tenets of good governance which includes Rule of law, transparency and participation are totally absent or minimal.

Mrs Yeboah said Ghana had committed itself to implementing the Non Legal Binding Instrument of the United Nation on all types of forests in Ghana as a tool to enhance sustainable forest management yet there was an alarming rate of deforestation and forest degradation in the country.

She said the NFF-Ghana, as a grassroots civil society, sought to complement Government efforts in tackling environmental degradation through the promotion of good forest governance through Information sharing, Dialogue, Education and Advocacy.

Mr. Frank Kwabina Owusu, Assistant Manager for the Forestry Commission, said as part of its activities his outfit is building the capacity of the local communities to create awareness and to also empower them to play effective watchdog role of local communities.

Source: GNA

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