By Joyce Bedeley:
The Forestry Commission was able to meet about 70% of its 2016 objectives for the year; this is according to the Public Relations Manager of the wildlife division of the forestry commission. Mr. Joseph Yaw Oppong who was speaking to Rite news in an interview stated that the objective of planting the trees formed part of the division’s efforts at replacing lost trees that has led to the loss of habitat for some animals.
The Public Relations Manager who attributed the canker of deforestation to human activities noted that the incident has left in its trail the drying up of some water bodies and also the destruction of the habitats of some wildlife.
According to him, the commission began the year 2016 with a vigorous tree planting campaign with the intention of planting more throughout the year. They couldn’t however achieve their target as they were able to cover only 70% of their areas.
The aim for this year, 2017 therefore is to plant more trees which they believe is the responsibility of the citizenry anyway. ‘If Ghana’s population is about 27 000 000 and each person plants a tree, that will translate to 27000000 trees being planted in a year,’ Mr. Oppong asserted. This responsibility he maintains was not achieved though the forestry commission managed to achieve part of its target.
He mentioned that some areas where the commission focused its tree planting exercise included the Greater Accra and Ashanti regions where they engaged such bodies as students and the services including fire service, police, military, CEPS and immigration to help in these objectives.
In the Eastern region, Mr. Oppong stated that the commission reached out to residents through the use of Rite FM with the purpose of educating them on the essence of planting more trees for future uses. The commission also took the opportunity to educate farmers on grasscutter, snails, mushroom, bee-keeping, etc. farming. This he maintained was to aid to the farmers raise more of these animals whose numbers have been reduced drastically as a result of the destruction of the country’s forest reserves.
He continued that some people have turned deaf ears on all regulations regarding deforestation in the country warning that the commission is going to be on a critical watch to check all those activities.