The Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie has threatened his outfit will from now onwards use callous approach in fighting illegal logging and illegal chainsawing in Ghana’s forest reserves particularly the Sefwi area.
He said ,the Commission is in talks with the military High Command to dispatch military personnel to partner the commission to embark on this merciless exercise which any illegal logger found in any forest reserve will be shot.
He made the comments during an interaction with the media in the Western Region.
The rate of deforestation in Ghana is estimated to be among the of the highest in the world .At an estimated annual rate of 2% ,equivalent to 135,000 hectares per annum. The Green west Africa country is estimated to have lost over 60% of its forest cover from 1950 to date,which translates to about 2.7 million hectares of forest depleted .
According to the Ghana REDD+ strategy reviewed document Prepared by the National REDD+ Secretariat of Ghana forwarded and released by the Forestry commission of Ghana in 2017,the main drivers of deforestation and degradation in the country are farming,both legal and illegal mining ,illegal lumbering ,wildfires ,fuel wood harvesting and infrastructural development while weak law enforcement coupled with corruption,population growth and development also form part of indirect causes.
Ghana’s forest Land is demarcated into three main ecological zones which are High Forest Zone,Transitional Zone and Savannah zone.The High Forest Zone falls within the biodiversity hotpots of Guinean forest,considered to be one of the 36 most vital biodiversity areas in the world.The forest belts in Ghana are rich with abundant natural resources such as minerals , timber and various wildlife species .
These richness of the forest have been inappropriately exploited creating debilitating effect on quality of the environment .With the current rate of depletion if not reversed could trigger serious environmental crises in the country which will affect agriculture,water resource,economy and survival of Ghanaians.
The endemic Corruption in the Forest Sector has made it more easier for culprits to log economic trees and easily smuggle it for export.
However,the Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission,Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie says it is time the Commission apply brutal force such as shooting policy to address the canker when he spoke to journalists in the Western Region.
He however seemed to softened his stance on shooting pronouncement when interviewed later but maintained that the Commision will no longer deal with culprits of illegal logging with kid gloves.