The Forest Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission, has began a pilot project on artisanal milling in selected forest fringe communities as part of efforts to discourage illegal chainsaw lumbering.
This is being done at Apenimadi, Akotaa and Kyekyewere in the Atwima-Mponua District.
A training programme to design the appropriate module had been held for members of the three forest fringe communities under the European Union Chainsaw Project.
Mr Mark Aidoo Gyamfi, Assistant District Manager of the Nkawie Forest District, said the goal was to transform illegal chainsaw milling operations into an environmentally conscious artisanal milling.
This would help to significantly improve the country’s forest cover and promote sustainable forest management.
He said the specific objective of the training was to whip up interest in tree growing rather than tree planting, equip the trainees with best skills in silviculture and good forest governance.
Mr Gyamfi warned that the current rate of deforestation if allowed unchecked could pose serious environmental challenges and asked individuals, communities and corporate bodies to take advantage of the various initiatives by the government to go into forest plantation development.
Mr John Amonoo, Community Forestry Advisor of Tropenbos International Ghana European Union Chainsaw Project, said plantation establishment, globally had been accepted as the remedy for deforestation, dwindling timber resources and biodiversity loss.