The Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey ,has admonished all Regional and District Managers of the Forest Services Division (FSD) in illegal mining endemic areas that the time has come for the Commission to change its strategies to enable it combat illegal mining in the nation’s forest reserves.
Mr. Allotey mentioned that years ago, the main issue the Commission dealt with was illegal felling and logging but now, illegal mining has become a fly in the ointment of modern day forest management.
He said in view of this, a new Unit will be set up in the Commission to handle issues on mining to ensure availability of information on illegal mining affecting the nation’s reserves. He then called for an all hands on deck approach towards the fight against illegal mining.
The Chief Executive emphasised on a multi stakeholder approach, especially with traditional authorities , towards the fight against “galamsey”.
Mr. Allotey made these admonitions at the opening of a meeting with Regional and District Managers of the Forest Services Division at the Forestry Commission Training Centre, Akyawkrom, near Ejisu.
The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources in charge of Lands & Forestry, Hon. Benito Owusu Bio , bemoaned the rate at which the country’s forest reserves were depleting. He urged the managers to be abreast of happenings in their operational areas and act on any information they may receive on illegal mining activities. He further encouraged the managers to eschew all excuses and put in their all to recover the lost forests.
The meeting was also attended by the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Lands & Forestry, Hon. Francis Manu Adabor; Deputy Chief Executives; Director of Operations, Natural Forest, Dr. Ebenezer Djablitey and Executive Director for Forest Services Division, Mrs. Edith Abruquah.