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08.04.2004 Regional News

Illegal logging, bushfires have degraded forest reserves

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Dormaa Ahenkro (B/A) April 6, GNA- Mr. Joseph Boakye, Assistant Brong Ahafo Regional Forestry Officer has noted that illegal logging, bushfires and increasing population around forest reserves have steadily degraded the country's forests. He said recent experiences show that community forest committees could be instrumental in checking illegal timber felling, the production of tree seedlings, the establishment of plantations, boundary clearing and the control of bushfires.

Mr. Boakye was speaking at the close of a two-day training workshop and the launch of community forest committees at Dormaa Ahenkro in Brong Ahafo, organized by the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission. The workshop, under the Forest Services Project Two was aimed at equipping the 130 participants with skills and knowledge so they could help in forest management.

Mr. Boakye said the Forest Services Division encouraged the formation of community forest committees to assist in the protection, management and development of the country's forests.

Noting that apathy by some people posed a problem in the sustainable management of forest reserves in the region, the Assistant Regional Forestry Officer called for the support of chiefs, landowners, District Assemblies, law enforcement agencies and fringe communities.

Mr. Emmanuel Duku, District Chief Executive advised the participants not to condone and connive with timber merchants and others to degrade the forests.

He urged them to rather assist the staff of the Forest Service Division to protect the forests for posterity.

Mr. Martin Dong, District Forestry Officer said the community forest committees would assist in protecting the Mpamso and Paamu-Berekum forest reserves to ensure their growth.

A five-member executive committee each was inaugurated for the Paamu-Berekum and Mpamso forest reserves under the chairmanship of Nana Kwadwo Brafo, chief of Denyame and Mr. Williams Baah, a farmer.