Protection of forests must be responsibility of all – RUPA

Rural Urban Partnership for Africa (RUPA), a Non-Governmental Organization, has said the protection of the forest and biodiversity must be the responsibility to prevent land degradation and desertification.

Mrs Lily Ashaley, Deputy Director of RUPA, said the rate at which forest resources were being depleted was alarming and called for urgent education and pragmatic measures to check it and its effects on the environment.

She was speaking at an educational campaign dubbed: “Protection of the forest and Biodiversity” at the Odorgonno Senior High School in Accra to sensitize students on the need to protect our forest reserves.

The first programme was held at the St John’s Grammar Senior High School in Accra as part of activities by the organization to mark the World Forestry Day.

The programme was organized with the students and management of the School. There was tree planting at Awoshi in Accra to climax it.

The Deputy Director said the organization would, however, not limit the campaign activities to only the Greater Accra Region but extend it to the other regions.

She said the organization would also extend its activities to other countries such as Benin and Burkina Faso because problems arising from environmental degradation cut across borders.

Mrs Rebecca Banning Oppan, a representative of the Ghana Forestry Commission, said migration and urbanization formed part of the causes of the depletion of forests and wildlife resources because their resultant activities put much pressure on natural resources.

She said mining activities and over grazing needed to be checked since the activities of the animals destroyed the land, affected soil nutrients and reduced soil aeration.

Mrs Oppan explained that existing policies were being reviewed to meet the current challenges regarding the protection of forest reserves.

These include the 1994 Forest and Wildlife Policy, aimed at conserving, sustaining and developing Ghana’s forest wildlife for the maintenance of environmental quality and perpetual flow of benefit to all parts of society.

There is also the 1998 Timber Resources Management Regulations which specifies the processes and procedures in granting timber rights.

Source: GNA

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