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Business News of Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Source: GNA

Adopt multi-sectoral approach to forest plantations - Stakeholders

Stakeholders at the consultative workshop on the draft Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy for 2015-2040 in the Southern Sector of the country, have called for the adaptation of multi-sectoral approach in the strategy for the development of forest plantations in the country.

The approach is expected to help the strategy to see beyond the creation of the plantations for the protection of the environment and provision of raw materials for the wood industry and also take into consideration the interest of all sectors, which have interest in the use of land, link the strategy to the national development, development and protection of herbal and medicinal plants and also for the promotion of ecotourism.

The participants also called for efforts to ensure the inclusion of women participation and the development of a legal framework for the protection of private forest plantations in the strategy.

Speaking at the workshop, Mr Raphael Yeboah, Executive Director of the Forest Services Division of the Forestry Commission said over the years, there had been expansion in state and commercial forest plantations but there are no strategic plans for their development and sustenance.

He said in 2002 and 2009, the government came out with ambitious plans for the development of forest plantations but all did not make any much progress due to lack of national strategic plan and funding.

Mr Hugh Brown, Director of Operations, Plantations of the Forest Division, who presented an overview of the draft strategic plan said, the strategy set targets to be achieved, how resources could be mobilized for the implementation of the strategy, building of capacity and human resources base and also provided the opportunity for building of strong research base to ensure that, the country develops fast growing tree species that could be used for the development of forest plantations.

He said under the strategy, the country is expected to create 5,000 hectars of new forest plantations by 2040.

Earlier in a welcoming address, the Eastern Regional Forestry Manager, Mr Attah Owusu observed that, the only hope to reverse the fast degradation and the destruction of the forest reserves of the country is to embark on sustainable reforestation programme.