The Forestry Commission (FC) in a matter of one week has arrested some 20 trucks loaded with illegal chainsaw lumber, Mr. Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Chief Executive of the commission, has revealed.
According to him, forest plunderers are getting sophisticated by the time and the Forestry Commission would go all out to deal with them.
Most of the trucks were loaded with Rosewood. Harvesting and importation of Rosewood has been banned in the country.
Addressing the press to mark the World Forests Day, Mr. Afriyie said that the FC would strive to always be ahead of those engaged in the illegal activities, warning “We will move after day and night and deal with them accordingly.”
Every March 21 is celebrated as World Forests Day and it is a day set aside by the United Nations (UN) to create awareness on the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests.
The global theme for the International Day of Forests 2019 is “Forests and Education.”
Countries are allowed to adapt the date of the celebration of the International Day of Forests, as well as the theme, to suit their peculiar circumstances.
In Ghana, the month of June every year has been adopted for the celebration of the Day to coincide with the major rainy and planting season.
The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission and other stakeholders, will hold this year’s International Day of Forests on June 10 to 14 in the Bono Regional capital, Sunyani. The theme for the Ghana version is “Forests and Education, Our Responsibility.”
According to Mr. Afriyie, there was the need for sustained educational programmes to create awareness on the importance of the forests to the survival of mankind.
“Educating the general populace was one of the ways through which the nation’s depleted forests could be restored,” he said.
He said: “Awareness creation, sensitisation and behavioural change approaches to forest protection, development and participatory planning and management are on top of the agenda.
He said the youth and policy-makers would be targeted in the educational programmes to enable them to appreciate the need to protect forest resources.
“Deforestation and forest degradation through illegal forest activities was perhaps the greatest challenge to forest management today and the consequences were being manifested through adverse climate change impacts,” he said.
Activities earmarked for this year’s week-long celebration included the launch of the 8th Forestry Week & Greening Ghana Day Celebration, Inter-schools quiz competition on Sustainable Forest Management Practices, Tree Planting exercises and Grand Durbar of Stakeholders.