According to John Allotey, Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, a lack of resources is a key impediment to avoiding illegalities in the country’s forest reserves.
Speaking at the Forestry Commission’s Chief Executive’s briefing and Staff recognition awards in Takoradi, he stated that illegal mining and logging in forest reserves remain a major challenge, despite the commission’s efforts to combat the menace through the implementation of the Rapid Response Team under the Forestry Services Commission.
He emphasized, however, that they lack the necessary resources.
“The key challenge confronting us today is how to combat the issue of illegal mining. Though our Rapid Response team is doing so well, we need to equip them, (because)they have limited logistics to be able to move in their numbers and run multiple operations at the same time.
“So this area we will need support from the board and the management to develop some programs that will yield more funds that will be able to resource some of these units”,
The special visitor, Benito Owusu Bio, Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Forestry, praised the commission for its support of the government’s Green Ghana programs. He stated that with their support, Ghana was able to plant over 21 million seedlings, a record in the country’s history.
“Since the launch of the Green Ghana project in 2021 as part of the Government’s effort to restore our degraded landscape and contribute to the global effort against climate change, over forty-one million seedlings of various plant species have been planted across the country.
“According to your own data from 2017 to 2023, in the history of Ghana no president has planted more trees than this government since independence “, he said.
Meanwhile, Kwabena Okyere Darko Mensah, Western Regional Minister, has asked the Commission to devote special attention to bamboo cultivation as an alternative to timber.
“We believe that Bamboo can also be an alternative to the normal timber species that we have. If you go to China and other countries they are able to use bamboo to eradicate poverty, and we believe that it is time for the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to raise funds for forest plantation, raise some money for machinery so that as we have bamboo we process it for hard use and into other products”.