Japan Backs Ghana’s Forest Preservation Scheme With $7.8m
The Japanese government is providing 7.8 million dollars to finance a special training programme on Geographical Information System and forestry inventory-taking under Ghana’s forest preservation programme.
The programme, being undertaken by PASCO Corporation, an international consulting firm, and its local counterpart, RUDAN, seeks among others objective, to promote capacity building and know-how for some core forestry personnel, capture the benefits of emerging financing for services from the forest through reduction of emission, degradation and deforestation (REDD), plus other mechanisms, and formulate a comprehensive Geographical Information System (GIS) for forest-based management systems.
Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission (FC), announced this in an address read on his behalf by Mr. Andy Osei-Okrah, FC’s Human Resource Director, at the opening of a six-week capacity building programme on GIS for some selected staff of the FC at the Wood Industries Training Centre at Akyawkrom, near Ejisu, yesterday.
The forest preservation programme has been designed to capture seven key components, namely Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF), Geographical Information System (GIS), Forest Inventory System (FIS), Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), Carbon Estimation, GIS Website and Capacity building.
Worried at the drastic reduction of the country’s forest cover from 8.6 million hectares at the turn of the last century, to about 2.6 million hectares currently, Mr. Afari Dartey said, ‘’to be able to sustainably manage and utilize the remaining forest resource base requires the availability of a verifiable and regulatory-monitored empirical data base and well-trained human capital capable of handling the situation on hand’’.
The Chief Executive said in trying to secure the resource base, it was also important for the nation to vigorously pursue the National Forestry Plantation Development Programme (NFPDP) to, among other things, restore the degraded forest cover, improve environmental quality, reduce the country’s wood deficit situation and generate employment as a means of reducing rural poverty.
He was emphatic that the future of the country’s domestic timber supply hinged on forest plantation development and, therefore, called for concerted and serious efforts on the part of all stakeholders, to ensure its success.
Mr. Cudjoe Awudi National Programme Coordinator, said that 30 pick-up vehicles and 190 jungle motorbikes had been provided to support forest management in the country.