GHANA: Forestry officer calls for support in sustainable forestry
Juabeso (W/R), Feb. 26, GNA — The Juabeso District Manager of the Forestry Services Department, Mr. Clement Amo Omari, has stressed the need for a collaborative effort towards forest management and protection.
He said there was an urgent need for the various assemblies, traditional authorities, Forestry Commission and other stakeholders in the sector to come together to ensure good governance and sustainable forest management.
Mr. Omari was facilitating a workshop on "Forest Sector Revenue and Benefit Sharing" organized by Conservation Foundation for traditional authorities and representatives of District Assemblies at Juabeso.
He called for collaborative governance in the forestry sector to bring wrong doers to book.
"For the last two decades, 1,307.03 Square kilometres of forest reserves had been destroyed by cocoa farmers and illegal chainsaw operators in the Juabeso District, adding that the Bia-Torya forest reserve with 678.50 Square Kilometres, Sefwi-Bodi forest reserve, 175.30 Square Kilometres, Sefwi-Manzan forest reserve, 305.60 Sq/km and Sukusuku forest reserve, 147.63 Square Kilometres have been destroyed by these encroachers," he noted.
Mr. Omari stressed that throughout developing countries, the only way to curb rural hostility and sabotage of government revenue was to involve local communities in forest management decisions.
He took participants through areas such as classification of forest resources, revenue, conditions for calculating stumpage fees and procedures for calculating stumpage fees as well as the disbursement of royalties to stakeholders in the forestry sector.
The Juabeso District Chief Executive, Mr. Solomon Fuachie, said forest fringed communities played a crucial role in the forest resources management and that without their collaboration, there would be a continued depletion of forests.
He urged the Forestry Commission to always explain the procedures in disbursing forest revenues to ensure mutual understanding among all beneficiaries.
Ms Wilhemina Owusu, the Project Coordinator for Conservation Foundation noted that there was not sufficient information on revenue from the forestry sector and that, the workshop sought to ensure information transparency and accountability for stumpage revenue, compensation and social responsibility agreement to beneficiaries.