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General News of Saturday, 25 November 2017

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Don’t connive with saboteurs - FSD

The Operations Manager of the Forest Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission, Mr Attah Owusu, has asked forest fringe communities not to harbour illegal chainsaw operators whose activities only go to enrich themselves at the expense of the nation.

He urged them to team up with the staff of the Forestry Commission to monitor all forms of degrading activities in the forests and give information on saboteurs to the FSD for action to be taken.

He further cautioned them to refrain from farming in the forest reserves.

Mr Owusu made the call when he addressed a stakeholders’ workshop on the Pra Birim Forest Reserve Management Plan at Akyem Apoli in the Birim South District in the Eastern Region.

The workshop was attended by participants from Apoli, Ningo, Beposo, Agbo and Ayensukrom and FSD staff from Akyem Oda, Koforidua, Accra and Kumasi.

Taungya farming system

The participants discussed the division’s 10-year plan which included location, ownership, extent, year of establishment of the reserves and forest type.

Mr Owusu advised the fringe communities to participate fully in the establishment of plantations.

He also urged them to plant crops to ensure that they had a reliable access to a sufficient supply of nutritious food and encouraged them to take proper care of the planted tree seedlings up to maturity.

He added that under the Taungya system, the farmers would benefit when the trees were harvested.

Take interest

The Eastern Regional Manager of the FSD, Mr Yaw Atuahene Nyarko, announced that all farms accepted within the reserves would be resurveyed to know the extent of encroachment.

He urged the farmers to take interest in the exercise in order for them to know the exact areas and location of the accepted farms to prevent further degradation in the forests.

The Oda District Manager of the FSD, Mr Ernest Nkansah Kwarteng, said the Pra Birim Forest Reserve was demarcated and legally established in 1937 under the stool lands of Akyem Otwereso and Apoli.

He stated that the stool lands and district assemblies got their share of revenue generated from the reserve development of the communities.

The Oda District Assistant Manager of the FSD, Mr Vincent Appiah, urged forest guards to cooperate with forest fringe communities if all forms of illegal activities in forest reserves were to be curbed.

He asked the communities to form fire volunteer groups to prevent and fight bush fires during the dry season.