The government has been urged to show strong political will and act boldly to enforce laws passed to protect the country’s forest and its resources.
Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, a senior research scientist of the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), said it was time to turn the page on the lawlessness by arresting and punishing offenders.
The wanton destruction of the reserves could not continue and needed to be halted, he added.
Contributing to discussions on ways to promote effective and sustainable management of the forest at Fumesua, near Kumasi, he said laxity in the enforcement of the law, was only emboldening people to continue their ruinous activities.
The programme was organized by Tropenbos International Ghana, an NGO, working to bridge the gap between forest policy, management and science.
It provided the platform to highlight and share the achievements of a project it has been implementing over the last five years in the areas of sustainable forest dependent livelihoods, forest governance and productive landscape.
Stakeholders including officials of the Forestry Commission (FC), Environmental Protection Agency, civil society organizations (CSOs) in the forestry sector, forest fringe communities and the academia, participated.
Dr. Marfo said he found it deeply sickening the total disregard for the law – the unrestrained plundering of the forest and asked that “the authorities must sit up”.
He applauded Tropenbos for the tremendous contribution it was making to the sector and cited the role it had played towards the review of forest and wildlife policies.
The NGO, he indicated, also triggered the formulation of the procurement policy in timber and timber products.
Samuel Kwabena Nketiah, Programmes Director of Tropenbos, said his organization was focusing on advocacy to strengthen the participation of CSOs in the protection of the forest.
Edward Obiaw, Programmes Coordinator of the NGO, spoke about the massive destruction of the forest through illegal mining and asked that urgent steps were taken to check that.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK.