Present the right records, Mr Forestry Commissioner
I wish to draw the attention of the Forestry Commission and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to publications in the daily graphic (page 59) and Ghanaian Times (back page ) newspapers on the 28th of May 2014.
Mr. Samuel Afari Dartey, the Chief Executive Officer of Forestry Commission was reported to have mentioned that the current forest cover of Ghana stands at 1.8 million hectares. This fact goes to contradict the information provided in the website of the Forestry Commission. In this website, a brief introduction about the National Forest Plantation Development Fund, in the second paragraph states emphatically, “Statistics have it that the forest cover of Ghana was about 8.2 million hectares by the turn of the 18th century but has reduced to about 1.2 million hectares”. The latter statement is the correct figure that truly reflects the state of our forest estate. Increased deforestation by virtue of logging (legal and illegal), Agricultural expansion, illegal mining and commercial fuel wood production would have further shrank the 1.2 million hectares remaining.
To add, the last few years have not experienced any major successful forest plantation programs which would have added 0.6 million hectares of forest to 1.2 million hectares amounting to the 1.8 million hectares Mr. Afari claims.
Our forest resources are dwindling at an exponential rate. It would only be fair for us to present the fact as it is. Feigning information about our forests does not only impede our progress, it also expels the trust that donors, CSO’s and the entire populace reposes in our forestry officials.
God save our forests.
The writer is a green environment activist