Commission launches ‘Operation Halt’ to stop illegal forest activities

The Forestry Commission (FC) has launched a joint military and forestry taskforce termed ‘Operation Halt’ to bring to an end illegal operations in the country’s forest reserves, especially those in the Brong-Ahafo and Western Regions.

Accordingly the Taskforce on Wednesday arrived at Goaso, the capital of the Asunafo North Municipality in the Brong-Ahafo Region aboard a Ghana Air Force GHF696 Helicopter, to embark on an inspection exercise.

It was both air and ground inspections in the Sui, Subin, Tano, Suhyen, Murro, Krokosua, Ayum, Abonyere, Bonkwene and Bonsampepo forest reserves located within the Sefwi Wiawso and Juaboso in the Western Region and Goaso Forest Districts respectively.

Briefing the media after the exercise, the Assistant Manager of the Goaso District Forestry Services Division (FSD), Mr. Ernest Adofo, explained that the taskforce was part of new measures introduced by the FC to protect the existing forest reserves from further degradation.

He said the exercise had become necessary following the wanton destruction of the forests through illegal farming, lumbering and mining activities, which had reached an unbearable situation.

According to Mr. Adofo, the Operation Halt, the first of its kind was a reinforcement to supplement the work of forest guards in the forests reserves.

He added that to operate effectively the taskforce would build military camps within the forest reserves to clamp down on the activities of illegal loggers, farmers and chainsaw operators.

Mr. Adofo said the FSD was poised to protect Ghana’s forest and plant more tree seedlings to replenish depleted forests.

He announced that the ‘Operation Halt’ exercise would soon commence in earnest to deal with the recalcitrant individuals and groups who were undertaking diverse illegal operations in the forest reserves.

Source: GNA

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