Gov’t must show stronger will for protection of forest resources

Accra, July 28, GNA –
Stakeholders at a National Forest Forum, have called on government to
demonstrate strong political will to combat illegal forest operations to
protect the country’s forest resources.      

They said political
interferences in illegal forestry issues, including chainsaw lumbering and
logging, were hampering the country’s efforts to clamp down on the
perpetrators.      

The Forum was
organised by the Friends of the Earth-Ghana (FoE-Ghana), in partnership with
the Rainforest Foundation-UK, to provide a neutral platform for the
stakeholders to discuss ways of ensuring effective law enforcement and
political will as well as minimising political interferences to address illegal
forest operations.         

The Forum was on the
theme: “Ensuring law enforcement, improving political will and minimising political
interferences to address illegal forest operations.”      

The participants
called for policy and legal reforms in the wood sourcing and trade in the
domestic market to enhance trade in legal wood.

In a communique issued
on behalf of the Director of the FoE-Ghana, by Mr Enoch Gyamfi Ampadu, the more
than 60 personnel who represented key stakeholders in the forestry sector,
asked security agencies to team up and rigorously sanction perpetrators.    

They said a collective
effort by the Judiciary, the Attorney Generals department, State prosecutors,
Police Service and Forest managers would tighten security measures in the
forest sector.       

They also urged
traditional rulers, especially paramount chiefs who administered Social
Responsibility Agreements to ensure that agreements were well defined to
enhance negotiation and their fulfilment in a more transparent manner.   

The stakeholders
called on the staff of the Forestry Commission to adhere to their professional
ethics in pursuance of their duties so as to minimise political interference in
forest administration.  

“The…

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