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06.06.2012 General News

Forestry Commission to clamp-down on illegal sale of lands

By Ghana l Joy News
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The Forestry Commission has vowed to deal ruthlessly with individuals who sell portions of forest reserves for farming and other activities which pose a threat to the environment and the economy.

It follows the discovery of large scale farming and other destructive activities in the Sui River Forest Reserve at Sefwi-Wiawso in the Western Region.

The Commission announced at a news conference four suspects are currently being prosecuted for farming illegally in the reserve whilst seventeen others are currently in police custody assisting in further investigations.

Its Executive Director, Raphael Yeboah said the Sui River Forest Reserve has seen massive destruction as a result of the illegal encroachment.

He said he and the Director of Operations at the Commission upon a visit to some forest reserves were shocked at the level of destruction.

“The team during the visit found camps in the reserves, thousands of hectares of juvenile cocoa farms, as well as food crop farms yet to be planted with cocoa,” he stated.

He said the Commission will deploy its rapid response team to prevent the reserves from further destruction.

Mr. Yeboah dismissed suggestions the Commission is unduly depriving farmers of arable lands and advised the public to be wary of individuals selling lands in forest reserves.

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