Participants at a forum on rosewood logging and charcoal burning have called on the public and institutions to name and shame the influential persons engaged in the practice.
They said the persons behind the logging of rosewood and the burning of charcoal on a commercial basis in the Savannah Ecological Zone were known people in society but were being shielded for fear of victimisation.
The participants noted that excessive logging and charcoal burning were eroding the benefits inherent in the woodlands.
They, however, observed that there were no deliberate attempts by stakeholders to halt the logging of rosewood and charcoal burning.
Mr Jeremiah Seidu, the Executive Director, Jaksally Development Organisation (JDO), noted that some authorities including traditional leaders and youth associations in the Savannah Region issued receipts and allow people to log trees and to burn charcoal.
The act, he said, was worrying and detrimental to the environment and livelihoods as it was gradually leading to desertification in the area.
Mr Seidu, therefore, appealed to traditional rulers and youth associations to desist from the act and support the fight against the menace.
“We have been on this campaign for the past ten years and we have realised that speaking to the hearts of the people makes them more responsive than speaking to their minds,” he explained.
He expressed the hope that the participants would replicate what had been discussed at the forum at their respective localities.
He said there was the need to start arresting and prosecuting people who engaged in illegal logging of rosewood and burning of charcoal on a commercial basis.
Mr Daryl Bosu, Deputy Director, A Rocha Ghana, said they would engage the youth groups and traditional authorities in the region to end the illegal activity.
“In the face of climate change and the way the weather is getting hotter, we need to have an action that is more resilient to secure existing reserves, so based on that we can build new livelihood around them,” Mr Bosu explained.
He said there was the need for strict implementation of the laws and regulation governing logging, saying “every chain saw that is used for cutting trees must be registered.”
“There is the need to be committed to all the laws and regulations on the land when it comes to felling and harvesting of trees and its trade, and charcoal production,” he explained.
Traditional rulers, representatives from the Ghana National Fire Service, Forestry Commission, faith-based Organisation, Assembly Members and environmental based Non-Governmental Organisations attended the forum.
The forum was on the theme: “Securing the Fragile Woodlands of the Savannah Region for Climate Resilience in relation to rosewood, charcoal production and climate change.”
The collaborative dialogue was organised by the Jaksally Development Organisation in partnership with A Rocha Ghana, SILDEP, CIKOD and NorthCode.