Sanction regimes for forest offences must be enforced – Tropenbos


Tropenbos Ghana is urging stakeholders in the forest value chain to take immediate steps to ensure a balance in the country’s need for essential forest services and sustainable protection of forests.

Tropenbos This would help address the extent of damages caused as a result of the over-dependence on forest resources and also secure the services derived from them.

This was in a statement signed by Mr Boakye Twumasi Ankra, the Project Manager, Tropenbos Ghana, and copied to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi to mark this year’s International Day of Forests.

This year’s celebration was held on the theme: “Forests and Sustainable Production and Consumption.”

The Day is used to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests and trees around the world and their contribution to the well-being of people, both present and future generations.

The world is losing forests and trees at an alarming rate of about 10 million square hectares per annum, contributing to increasing greenhouse gas emissions and exacerbating climate change scenarios and impacts.

The development poses major threats to livelihoods, especially in developing countries, as well as production, supply and consumption chains that largely depend on forest resources.

Tropenbos recommended that in cocoa-forest landscapes, COCOBOD and Licensed Cocoa Buying Companies should speed up the processes for the production, trade and consumption of legal and sustainable cocoa only.

The statement said the ready market for illegally and unsustainably produced cocoa was serving as the motivation for sustained encroachment into forest lands for cocoa production.

Tropenbos Ghana further recommended that local and international chocolate producers and consumers must be made to pay more for sustainably produced cocoa while stakeholders in cocoa production adopted an integrated landscape approach to minimize the incidence of wildfires in forested areas.

Sanction regimes for forest offences must be enforceable and reform the tree tenure system to secure farmers’ ownership, benefits and interest in tree resources, and enhance awareness creation on sustainable forest practices.

These, according to the statement, should, however, be complemented by addressing other factors such as illegal logging, bushfires, and illegal mining, among others, that threatened forest and associated resources.

By Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA


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