FC to arm forestry guards to protect forest reserves

Sakora Wonoo, (Ash)� Forest guards will soon be armed as part of the renewed efforts by the Forestry Commission (FC) to protect forest reserves and ward off attacks on the forest wardens.

Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Chief Executive of FC, who made this known said government had approved a plan to train forest guards and provide them with arms to prevent incessant attacks by illegal loggers in forest reserves.

He was speaking at the launch of the Seventh forestry week and greening Ghana Day celebrations at Sakora Wonoo in the Kwabre East municipality.

It was on the theme maintaining a balance between urbanisation and forest conservation.

Mr Owusu Afriyie said it was important to protect the country’s forest in order to promote the health of the people and the Rapid Response Unit of the Commission had in recent times made significant arrests and seized various equipment and timber products.

Mr Owusu Afriyie said 54,000 illegal logs, 158 chainsaw machines, 113 cheng-fa, and 80 cars had so far been arrested and seized by forestry officials.

He said Nine hundred and fifty two (952) hectares of farms within forest reserves had been destroyed and 155 persons arrested in connection with illegal activities in forest reserves prosecuted.

Mr Owusu Afriyie appealed to chiefs to lead the crusade of protecting the forest since that was the only way to secure the future of the country, while the Commission was currently recruiting over 15,000 youth to be engaged in tree planting across the country to restore all degraded lands and forest reserves.

Source: Ghana News Agency