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THE MAIDEN MEETING WITH THE MANAGEMENT AND STAFF OF THE FORESTRY COMMISSION
Posted: 24 Apr 2017

                                    

Chief Director,

Executive Director, TIDD, FSD, WD

Director from MLNR and the Forestry Commission,

Management and Staff of the Forestry Commission,

Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure and honour  for me to be here this morning to officially meet with you for the first time as your sector Minister. I was originally scheduled to meet with you last week Thursday but unfortunately, the date had to be rescheduled due to other equally important official engagements.

I consider the forestry sub-sector as one of the key sectors that has a huge potential for driving the economic development of this country. Indeed, forests are among the world’s most productive land-based ecosystems and are essential to life on earth. Forests provide essential ecosystems services such as timber, food, fuel, fodder, protection of water bodies, prevention of land degradation and desertification, conservation of biodiversity, climate change mitigation and also providing livelihood support to millions of people all over the world.

However, in spite of the numerous benefits we derive from the forests, Ghana’s timber and non-timber forest resources are being overexploited and continue to decline in both quantity and quality. Perhaps, the greatest challenge facing the forestry sector today is deforestation and forest degradation.

My engagement with you this morning is to interact with you informally, and to understand the enormity of the challenges of the sector and share with you the vision of my government in the next four years. Within these few weeks of being in office, I have already learnt a lot about the forestry sector and I expect to learn a lot more from you in the weeks aheads.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The drivers of deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana are very obvious and need not be over-emphasized. The high levels of illegal logging chainsaw and mining activities are of great concern to all us. In addition, poor farming practices, annual wildfires, population pressure and the complex nature of Ghana’s land tenure system and weak law enforcement further worsen the situation.

The effects of deforestation and forest degradation are beginning to manifest themselves in the extinction of water bodies, loss of important timber species (like odom, wawa, mahogany), loss of wildlife habitat, rise in temperatures and unpredictable rainfall patterns due to climate change.

First of all, let me assure you that the Ministry under my leadership will reverse the decline of the forest and wildlife resources by addressing vigorously the drivers of deforestation and forest degradation. We will embark on tree nurseries establishment, forest plantation development,  development of the bamboo and rattan industry, conservation of biodiversity, protection of water bodies and promotion of eco-tourism.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As part of efforts to bring sanity in the forest sector, I have already issued directives to the Forestry Commission to ban the export of Rosewood across the country and also stop the issuance of any felling permits. I believe you will comply with the directives to enable us to develop a roadmap for the way forward.

On my part, I can reassure you that I will do my best to facilitate the completion of processes for the effective implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement, the passage of the Wildlife Bill, the approval of the Timber Procurement Policy and also ensure that you receive the necessary funding to undertake your planned activities.

I expect hard-work from every staff of the commission punctuality, discipline, corruption-free-environment and dedication to service so that collectively, we will succeed as a team. I thank you for your attention and hope to meet with you again in other official engagements.Thank you.  

                   

 

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