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13.10.2005 General News

Forest watch To Sue Forestry Commission

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Forest Watch Ghana, a coalition of NGOs advocating protection of the environment says it will take legal action against the Forestry Commission for its ineptitude in tackling issues of deforestation in the country.

The National Co-ordinator of Forest Watch, Alhassan Adam disclosed this at a news conference in Tamale to express the coalition's displeasure about illegal logging at Abrumasi in the East Gonja District of the Northern region. The news conference was organized by a group called Abrumase Citizens in collaboration with Forest Watch Ghana, represented in the Northern region by NGOs like Juxtapose Integrated Development Association, Programme for Women and Children in Development (PROWACID) and Kachito Community Development Centre. The Coalition took issue with the Forestry Commission for issuing permit to a logging company, Messrs Logwood Industry Limited to fell trees in the area. According to the protesters, the activity is illegal because Abrumasi was not an earmarked timber production zone. According to the coalition, several petitions against acts of this company and a displeasure expressed by the Northern regional Minister for the company and charcoal burners from the southern part of the countryt, who deplete the Abrumasi forest to desist, have proved futile.

Addressing the media, the spokesperson for the coalition, Ben Bawa Karim enumerated effects of illegal logging in the area. he it has afffected fishing and farming in general and has left the people in abject poverty. The coalition has also demanded among other thin! gs that the Forestry Commission cancels the timber utilization permit issued Messrs Logwood. Mr Karim stated that the youth of the area are ready and will not allow any further, the felling down of trees in the area. Also, the Forest Watch has threatened to file suet against Forestry Commission for condoning illegal logging and other national forest issues the Commission had failed to address.

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