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Operation Halt has freed forest reserves of illegal miners – Allotey

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John Allotey

Mr. John Allotey, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission (FC), has lauded President Akufo-Addo for his resolve to rid the country’s forest reserves of illegal mining activities.

“We thank the President, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources and the Minister of Defence for their support in the fight against illegal mining activities in the forest reserves,” he stated.

Addressing members of the Western North Regional Co-ordinating Council and other key stakeholders in forest reserve management at Sefwi-Wiawso, he said, the active support of the government against illegal mining activities in forest reserves had been of tremendous help to the Commission in its effort to promote sustainable forest resources for the country.

The meeting was part of a two-day working visit to the region by Mr. Allotey and officials from the Commission, to interact with local collaborators, including the Regional Coordinating Council officials, on effective local participation in the protection and management of forest reserves in the Western North Region.

The CEO said the Commission was benefitting immensely from the Operation Halt initiative, which was helping to restore the country’s forest reserves for posterity.

Mr Allotey called on Ghanaians, especially those in forest fringe communities to take a keen interest in the protection of forest reserves in their areas.

“The Forestry Commission has moved from the point where it is solely the responsibility of the Forest Commission to protect the forest, therefore, I appeal to the public to involve themselves in the fight to help save our forest,” he stated.

Mr Louis Owusu-Agyapong, Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) for Sefwi Wiawso, said the Assembly would do anything possible to support the fight to help protect the forest.

He commended the Commission for the Green Ghana initiative to grow more tree seedlings to help to protect the forest reserves.

Katakyie Kwasi Bumagama II, the Paramount Chief of Sefwi-Wiawso Traditional Area, promised to donate five drones to the Commission to support the fight against illegal activities in forest reserves in the area to help protect the forest in the region.

He appealed to the government to establish a military base in the region to help collaborate with other law enforcement agencies to monitor the illegal activities in the area.

Members of the Commission took advantage to inspect the growth of tree seedlings planted during the Green Ghana Day 2021, which was launched at Sefwi-Wiawso on June 11, this year.

Source: GNA

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