Regional News of Friday, 22 March 2013
School children in Tamale on Thursday joined the rest of the world to mark this year’s International Day of the Forest. Many of them told the Ghana News Agency that they are ready to support the national greening project by planting flowers and other forms of vegetation on their various campuses.
The Day is set aside to venerate, celebrate and raise awareness on the importance of the environment.
Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, Minister of Land and Natural Resources warned that very soon offenders of environmental regulations would face the law.
He said as part of efforts by government to protect the country’s forest personnel of the Forest Commission are undergoing training at the Attorney Generals Department to equipped them with the needed capacity to prosecute people involved in illegal activities in the forest and wildlife sector.
Mr Fuseini said the forest reserves had enormous potentials to promote eco-tourism.
He said his ministry in partnership with the Tourism Ministry would develop some of the reserves to enable central government to generate enough income as well as create employment.
Responding to a question on why Ghana is signatory to the International Biodiversity Convention yet there is persistent bush-burning and other negative environmental practices in most parts of the country? The minister gave the assurance that such practices would cease soon.
He said a rapid response unit had been established and trained to understand the importance of forest and the natural environment and why it must be protected.
Mr Ebenezer Djaney Djagletey Northern Regional Director of Forestry Commission said since 2001, attempts made by government through ambitious National Forest Plantation Development drive to increase tree cover had made significant impact on the landscape.
He said from 2010 to 2012 an area of 7,384 hectares was planted with assorted tree species by the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission in the Region.
Mr Djagletey said the project had directly and indirectly employed about 8,974 people.