As part of measures to understand and report effectively on forestry, environmental sustainability, agricultural practices and climate change issues, representatives from the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) has visited the Forestry Commission (FC) Headoffice, to interact with management and get firsthand information on activities of the Commission to aid in their reportage.
According to Mrs. Dora Mawutor, Director, Freedom of Expression, MFWA, the purpose of their visit was to learn more about the activities and operations of FC, particularly about areas that are under reported so that they will be able to develop stories that will throw more light on those issues. She added that, they also intend to work with stakeholders to see how best some of the issues could be addressed on the media landscape.
The Deputy Chief Executive, Mr. Nyadia Sulemana Nelson, who received the team , said there has been a lot of misconceptions about the work of FC especially, when it comes to issues relating to illegal logging and illegal mining operations popularly known as “galamsey.”
According to him, the media space is huge, and if a story is going to be told to the public to make informed decisions the story has to be properly told.
He added that if the FC as a public institution has to properly justify itself when it comes to financial accountability, social accountability even moral accountability, then there must be informed people mediating between the Commission and the public.
In updating the team about Green Ghana Day which is scheduled for June 7 2024, the Deputy Chief Executive said the Commission has engaged in aggressive afforestation since 2021, in a bid to restore degraded landscapes, green the country and combat climate change. “We are happy that media persons like you have been building stories around this project so that we can continue to mobilise people to help us achieve our objectives”.
A presentation on the overview of Forestry Commission was delivered by Mr. Cudjoe Awudi, Director of Corporate Planning, Monitoring & Evaluation (CPME). The presentation highlighted the mandate of FC, Board of Commissioners, Divisions, Departments, units and their key functions, programs being implemented, and key activities the Commission is currently engaged in including GGD, Forest Plantation strategy on established plantations from 2017-2023, and reclamation of mined out areas within reserves.
Mr. Awudi also touched on some challenges and outlook for 2024 and used the opportunity to appeal to the team to tell the FC story as there are so many areas like ecotourism and reclamation which have received less reportages.
There was a question and answer session where the Director of Operations , Plantations , Mrs Valerie Fumey Nassah, answered questions related to tracking of GGD Project and how FC is able to record success rates.
Dr. Richard Gyimah, Director, Ecotourism and Stakeholder Relations, Wildlife Division , also answered questions related to ecotourism, encroachment, and protected areas.
Mrs. Mawutor expressed her gratitude on behalf of the team and said they were glad about the Forestry Commission’s openness and readiness welcome them whenever the need arose.
Mr. Nyadia Sulemana encouraged them to keep the interaction going and informed them that the doors of FC are always open to receive and support them in information sharing.
Media Foundation for West Africa operates mainly in West Africa and across all 16 regions of the country and mainly works on issues related to freedom of expression, media and good governance, media for sustainability and development.