The Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources is taking steps to create the necessary enabling environment to institutionalise the Forestry Forum (FF) as an integral part of forest management in the country.
This is because the forum which seek to provide a platform to bridge the gab between policy makers and resource owners and users, is a significant intervention in promoting collaborative and participatory resource management in Ghana.
Alhaji Collins Dauda, Sector Minister announced this in an address read for him at the Second National Forestry Forum (NFF) held at Akyawkrom in Ejisu-Juaben Municipality on Wednesday.
He said over the years the process of decision making on resource management had been limited to few policy decision makers and this had resulted in many conflicting interest, especially during the implementation process and the inability of government to effectively enforce some relevant legislation.
Alhaji Dauda, emphasised that the forum which had been established in all regions and districts was an important step and called on the Forestry Commission to ensure the forums were adequately resourced yearly to enable them contribute significantly to efforts towards best practice in resource management in the country.
He said the declining resource base called for vigorous measures to be pursued to improve efficiency in the forestry sector, protect the forest resource and help reduce poverty in rural communities that depended on forest resources for their livelihoods and called for support from all stakeholders to implement effective and efficient measures in the sector.
Naa Robert Logah, National President of NFF, said effective collaboration and partnership was necessary to ensure sustainability in the forestry sector.
He called for an efficient secretariat and building of capacities of members to promote efficient service delivery at all levels.
Osahene Kwaku Atakyi II, Omanhene of Kukuom Traditional Area and President of Brong Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs, stressed the need for Ghanaians to take keen interest in the forestry sector since it affected national economy, energy generation, and food production.
He called on members of the forum to focus attention on issues which could mitigate effects of destruction of the forest and water sources.