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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Zero tolerance for illegal logging in Ahafo – Owusu-Bio cautions

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio has declared zero tolerance for illegal logging in the Ahafo Region, to prevent the wanton destruction of the forest cover in the area.

He said although there is no mining taking place in the region’s forest reserves, illegal logging and  lumbering  is prevalent and needs to be  halted immediately.

Speaking to Staff of the Forestry Commission on 6th January, 2022 in Goaso, the Deputy Minister asked them not to connive with  illegal operators in order to restore and enrich the forest cover.

“We know that you know the chainsaw operators in the communities, please advise them,” he cautioned.

Mr Owusu-Bio also called on the staff of the Forestry Services Division, the Timber Industry Development Division, and the Wildlife Division to work together and  ensure that the auction of confiscated wood does not go back to those involved in the illegal act, stressing that ” you can not benefit from your own illegalities.”

He further charged them to put in place adequate measures to halt the practice.

The Deputy Minister’s visit is a  follow up on  the recent official tour of the Sector Minister, Mr Samuel A. Jinapor where he  addressed some concerns of the Chiefs in the area including the auctioning of confiscated wood.

Mr Benito Owusu-Bio used the occasion to inform staff of the 2022 Green Ghana Day Event and urged them to prepare for the national exercise whiles commending them for their tireless efforts last year in achieving their targets.

The Deputy Lands and Natural Resources Minister also paid a courtesy call on the Ahafo Regional Minister to seek his support and collaboration for the 2022 Green Ghana initiative.

“There is urgent need for the Regional Forestry team to work with you as the Regional Minister and Head of Regional Security Council (REGSEC) to help reduce the rate of  deforestation and forest degradation in the  region”.

In his response, the Regional Minister Mr George Boakye called for increased commitment to curb the menace.

“This year, the  Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council will support the Forestry Commission in the region to fully  implement and achieve  its 2022 Green Ghana target of 1.2million seedlings, ” he emphasised.

In a remark, the CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey underscored the importance of restoring the country’s forest cover and appealed to the Regional Minister to help combat and improve upon the Forestry situation in the region, adding that his outfit is mobilising early to provide funds and  support the various districts.


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