National Forest Forum calls for abridged version of forestry laws

Participants at the Fourth National Forestry Forum-Ghana have called for an abridged version of laws on forestry to be made available to stakeholders with special reference to forest fringe communities.

They said although there are rules and regulations, they are shrouded in ambiguity, thereby creating room for corrupt practices and making enforcement difficult.

The call was made in a communiqué issued by Mr Kwame Asamoah Dwomoh, President of the Forum, at the end of their three-day Congress at Akyawkrom in the Ejisu-Juaben Municipality in the Ashanti Region.

It focused on issues affecting the sustainable management of forest and wildlife resources in Ghana.

The communiqué called on the Forestry Commission to as a matter of urgency put into action its decision to train staff to undertake prosecutions of forest offences to augment the efforts of the prosecution section of the Ghana Police Service.

The participants stressed the need to equip forestry-based collaboration agencies with the necessary knowledge and logistical support to be efficient and effective in the discharge of their duties.

In addition, participation should be actualised so that the forum would be an integral part of the decision making process and planning in order to create a platform for transparency and accountability.

The communiqué said there should be increased collaboration between the forum and other development agencies especially the media, law enforcement agencies and donor partners.

The participants called on the Forestry Commission to adhere to the use of competitive bidding in allocation of timber resources to promote transparency which is a tenet of good governance and avoid administrative allocation as pertaining now.

In addition, government should abolish mining in forest reserves and poor remuneration of forestry officials, which encourage corruption.

Source: GNA

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