Mr Kwame Asamoah-Dwomoh, President of the National Forestry Forum-Ghana (NFF-G), has warned of imminent loss of Ghana’s entire forest cover if efforts are not put in place to stop illegal farming in forest reserves.
He said Ghana has lost the vegetative cover of most of its forest reserves and by the turn of the 20th Century, it has shrunk from 8.2 million to 1.6 million hectares.
Mr Dwomoh, who was speaking at a day’s forest stakeholders’ educational programme for 40 participants at Bibiani in the Bibiani- Anhwiaso-Bekwai District of the Western Region, noted that currently, some of the remaining reserves were losing as much as 90 per cent of the cover.
The event that was organized by the NFF-G as part of its educational programme was attended by chiefs, forestry commissioners, farmers, assembly members, departmental heads and youth groups.
Mr Asamoah-Dwomoh said the worst affected reserves are the Tano Suraw extension and Anwiaso East and Anwiaso South, both in the District.
He called on Ghanaians to take measures to stop the wanton and unacceptable forest practices, which were on the increase in the country.
Mr Asamoah-Dwomoh, said although the government has signed unto initiatives like Voluntary Partnership Agreement, which seeks to ensure sustainable management of the forests, perpetrators continued with forest degradation activities with impunity.
This he said was partly because of the inability of authorities to deal drastically with offenders due to alleged interference by some influential community leaders and political “heavy weights”.
Mr Asamoah-Dwomoh stressed that: “This has gingered others, especially the youth, to join this devastating activity whilst the technocrats and traditional authorities look on helplessly”.