The Forestry Commission says the weak enforcement of laws and the delay in addressing some forest offences in courts were making it difficult to protect the country’s forest reserves.
The Commission says activities such as forest encroachment, illegal mining and unlawful farming practices had affected the quality of forest reserves.
The Deputy Greater Accra Regional Manager of the Forestry Commission, George Agbenowoshie said this at a short ceremony ahead of the tree planting exercise by Parliament under the Green Ghana initiative, in Accra on Friday.
“In spite of the strenuous efforts made by the Forestry Commission through tree planting in our forest reserves, we are also faced with some setbacks which include encroachment of the forest, illegal logging of timber, illegal mining which has become a topical issue in recent times and illegal farming. This has affected the quality of our forest reserves across the country. This has made the work of the Forest Services Division a bit challenging,” he stated.
Mr Agbenowoshie therefore called for a concerted effort in restoring the lost forest cover of Ghana.
The Speaker of Parliament, Algban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin said the country had witnessed a massive decline in forest cover over the period hence the need for all and sundry to contribute in restoring Ghana’s forest cover.
“Ghana has witnessed a significant decline in forest cover over the years. Our country now runs amongst nations with the highest deforestation, our forest cover has dwindled to a near 1.6 million hectares and we have to sit up as a country.”
“It is precisely why initiatives like Green Ghana day is of paramount importance in our national agenda. That is why I urge all MPs to move to their constituencies to lead the planting of trees exercise,” he stated.