Senior environmental specialist, Dr. Edward Felix Dwumfour has expressed dissatisfaction with the reforestation practice in Ghana.
According to him, the number of trees planted as replacements for trees that are cut should be increased.
He said this at the 26th annual general meeting of the Ghana Institute of Foresters at the Forestry Commission Training Center at Akyawkrom.
“Have we been able to manage our forests? The answer is no and I know that most of you will agree with me that we have not.
“You cannot plunder the forest and you are not able to replace the one that you take away; it should rather be the other way round.
“You take one you put in two, at least not even one. I don’t agree with taking one and putting one back? no, it should be more.
“The orientation should be adding more rather than what we are doing it doesn’t make sense because forests take time to grow,” he said
The Ghana Institute of Foresters is a professional body that provides forest benefits to the public which are vital to the environmental, social and economic health of the country.
The institute operates with the aim of advancing science education, technology and practice of forestry to enhance the competency of its members.
This year’s annual meeting is under the theme; Sustaining the ecological integrity of Ghana’s forest; Rescuing our forests.
The meeting focused on some solutions and strategies that could be adopted to combat mining in Ghana’s forest reserves.
Dr. Dwumfour was again worried about the costs of restoring Ghana’s forest resources.
“Why do we plunder and then go find money to try and restore.
“It doesn’t make sense because the cost of restoration, trust me, is always much higher than if we protected and maintained it for 5% of the revenue that comes from mining,” he noted.
The Chief executive officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey bemoaned the spate of organised crimes in the sector.
“What we are fighting today is not the normal patrolling of forest reserves where you see illegal loggers and probably, they will see men in uniform and run away leaving the logs they fell.
“People in the communities may point to people they see or find them cutting trees this not the kind of fight we are contending with today
“What we are fighting today is organized crime. You have people doing illegal logging in their numbers and it is not two or three people. You go to a place and you find that in some places there are more than 500.
“You go and they have hired security, trained people carrying weapons and ammunition that can reach farther than weapons carried by forestry personnel,” he said.
President of the Ghana Institute of Foresters Ashanti, Mr. Andy Osei Okrah encouraged the participants to build relationships and contribute greatly to the subject of discussion.
“During our time here together, we will engage in insightful discussions, share knowledge and explore innovative solutions to address the complex challenges that we face in our forest.
“I will encourage each and every one here to participate in the business section and forge networks and collaborations.
“Let’s use this AGM to exchange ideas and collaborate on initiatives that will shape the future of forestry and our nation,” he said.
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