International Day of Forests: Tropenbos Ghana calls for urgent actions on key forest sector issues to drive innovation

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biodiversity conservation

Tropenbos Ghana has called for urgent actions on major forest sector development issues that are detrimental to the collective engagement on innovative solutions to sustainable forest management in Ghana.

biodiversity conservation   A statement signed by Mr. Boakye Twumasi Ankra, Project Manager, Tropenbos Ghana and copied to the Ghana News Agency, to mark this year’s International Day of Forests, said government needed to as a matter of urgency, adhere to calls for the repeal of the Environmental Protection Regulation, L.I 2462.

This year’s International Day of Forests is being celebrated under the theme “Forests and innovation: New Solutions for a Better World”

According to the statement, the L.I in its current form and intent, meant no forest reserve in Ghana was exempted from mining if deemed to be in the interest of state as determined by the President.

This, the statement pointed out, implied that even Ghana’s most sensitive forest areas protected by Acts of Parliament and international conventions that Ghana had signed on to, could no longer be deemed secured; as such, counter-productive to innovative solutions to manage such areas.

It said in most developing countries in the tropics, forests and associated resources were deemed the single most important resource base that propelled sustainable development, and general wellbeing of the masses.

This could be realized only when right measures, policies, regulations, and practices were initiated, instituted, and effectively enforced to protect the forest.

Tropenbos Ghana, further demanded the immediate reversal of the directive from the Minister of Lands and natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor, to the Forestry Commission (FC) to grant permits to timber harvesting companies to log in Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs).

These forest reserves, according to the organization hosted endangered species and as such, must be protected.

It called on the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) to be transparent, and accountable to Ghanaians on de-gazetted portions of Achimota forest reserve.

The statement  requested that the President upon receipt, assent to the Wildlife Resources Management Bill, which among other things, consolidated laws related to wildlife and protected areas.

Tropenbos Ghana asked the MLNR and the Forestry Commission to improve adoption of technology and internet-based solutions into forest management.

This, could be done by strong collaboration between the Forestry Commission and other service providers such as the Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information System (CERGIS), Ghana Natural Resource Monitoring Platform among others, to deploy secured platforms for effective monitoring and management of forests and tree resources across scales.

The statement further tasked the MLNR to undertake a comprehensive assessment of tree performance under the Green Ghana Day initiative.

By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA

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