A total of 363.77 hectares out of 679.8 destroyed forest reserves in the Bibiani Forest District had been replanted under the government’s plantation development programme this year.
Mr. Gabriel Agana, the District Manager, said species planted included mahogany, cederella, mansonia and teak.
He was addressing a public forum to launch the area’s branch of the National Forestry Forum Project (NFF-G), an NGO, at Bibiani in the Bibiani-Anhwiaso-Bekwai District. In attendance were forestry officials, heads of department, chiefs, farmers and other stakeholders.
It provided the platform to discuss the roles they could collectively and individually play to rein in the growing degradation of the forest and its resources.
Mr Agana said they had in year 2011, planted 322 hectares of the degraded forest. They had targeted to cultivate 683 hectares.
He called for effective collaboration between the various stakeholders to protect and ensure sustainable management of the nation’s forests.
Mrs. Doreen Asumang-Yeboah, NFF-G National Coordinator, advised people in the forest fringe communities to develop a sense of ownership for the resource and help to safeguard it.
She said there should be no illusion that through unity of purpose and understanding among the stakeholders – District Chief Executives (DCEs), forestry officials, forest-based NGOs, chiefs and other land owners, the forests would be preserved.
Mr Richard-Nixon Ziork, the District Development Officer, reminded the people about the significant role the forest plays in socio-economic development and said everything must be done to stop its destruction.
A seven-member committee to oversee the organization and the running of the association in the district was later inaugurated.