Deputy Ashanti Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission (FC), Mr. Dickson Sakyi, has called for concerted effort to protect the nation’s forest reserves for posterity.
He added that the reserves were valuable national asset that should not be destroyed through the greed and selfishness of few individuals.
He was performing the joint inauguration of three Community Forest Committees (CFC) at Dadieso in the Asante-Akim South Municipality.
They would assist to protect the North Formanso, South Formanso and Onyemso forest reserves.
The members of the committees are drawn from Tanokrom, Sukwa, Kajo-Formanso, Pra-River and Dadieso communities.
Mr. Sakyi said the formation of the CFCs was part of deliberate steps taken by the Commission to strengthen the protection of the reserves, which had over the years been at the mercy of illegal chainsaw operators.
He said active involvement of people in the forest fringe communities was critical to the fight to end the wanton destruction of the reserves.
The CFCs were better positioned to raise the alarm over any illegal entry into the reserves for prompt action.
He encouraged the committees and the forest guards to forge closer working relationship, saying, it was important to recognize that they were working for a common goal.
Mrs. Rebecca Oppan, the Municipal Manager of the Forest Services Division of the FC, said population growth was having adverse effect on sustainable forest management as the need for lumber for human activities kept rising.
This, she noted, required pragmatic measures to safeguard the forest.
She said the CFCs were going to complement the work of the forest guards by providing timely information on activities of chainsaw operators.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Andrew Anyani, the Municipal Commander, cautioned those engaged in illegal timber operations to stop in their own interest.
He announced that the police had successfully prosecuted 13 out of 19 forest related cases, this year.
Mr. Alexander Frimpong, the Municipal Chief Executive, rallied all stakeholders to unite their effort to stop the degradation of the reserves.
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