Agriculture activities contributes 50% to deforestation

Accra- Mr Obed Owusu-Addai, a Campaigner with Ecocare Ghana, has said agriculture’s contribution to deforestation is enormous as farmers’ interest in nurturing of trees is on the decline.

He said a research done by the Ghana REDD+ secretariat identified that agriculture contributed up to 50 per cent to the causes of deforestation.

Mr Owusu-Addai was speaking at a workshop organised by Friends of the Earth (FoE) to build the capacity of journalists to demand accountability and ensure tree tenure was given appropriate place and said because farmers did not benefit from the sharing of the revenue that would accrue from the sale of the trees after harvesting, they did not allow the trees to grow on their farms.

He said, for a long time, the laws of the country had rendered farmers non beneficiaries of trees nurtured on their lands and as a result of taking mitigation strategy, they had resorted to destroying them at a younger stage.

He, however, noted that the government had taken steps to address the challenge to allow farmers to benefit from trees they nurtured on their lands as identified in the newly proposed benefit sharing.

He indicated that there had always been the need to ensure equitable, efficient, and effective distribution of the proceeds generated from the sale of timbers.

The old regime of benefit sharing, Mr Owusu-Addai said totally side-lined the farmer and landowner as well as the host community where the timbers were harvested.

The newly proposed benefit sharing regime for the distribution of stumpage fees however, allocates not less than 60 per cent of Management fees collected by the Forestry Commission of Ghana to the farmer and landowner.

He urged the media to continuously create awareness, question duty bearers and increase advocacy in tree tenure and benefit sharing to ensure that the country’s vegetation was preserved.

Source: Ghana News Agency