Ghana intensifies fight against deforestation

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Authorities in Ghana have intensified their fight against deforestation by clamping down on illegal activities in the country’s forests that threaten sustainable forest resource exploitation, a senior official stated here on Thursday.
   Deputy Chief Executive Officer (D-CEO) of Forestry Commission, John Allotey who conducted journalists around 19 trucks which had been impounded over the past week with illegally sawn lumber, including the endangered Rosewood said the Commission would carry the battle to the perpetrators of all illegal activities in the forests to bring such acts to a halt.
   Ghana has banned the use of chain sawn wood and the exportation of Rose Wood due to their negative impact in the forest.
   “Illegal loggers have stepped up their game across the country in recent months and through the vigilance of our personnel we have impounded these 19 trucks loaded with chain-sawn lumber and rosewood being transported from various parts of the country,” Allotey disclosed.
   He emphasized the preparedness of the Forestry Commission to combat the menace and arrest those perpetrating the act that threatens to deplete further the country’s forest cover as well as frustrate the efforts at stemming Climate Change in the country.
   The official cautioned the public that any illegally sawn lumber and rosewood being transported along the roads in the country would be confiscated together with the trucks carrying them.
   The Judicial Service has established specialized environmental courts with the mandate to deal with crimes bordering on environmental degradation, illegal forest resource exploitation and related issues.
   Allotey said these 19 trucks and others which have been impounded in the regions and districts shall be taken to court and their owners prosecuted according to the laws of Ghana.
   He also warned that any official found complicit in illegal logging activities would be sanctioned according to laid down procedure. 
   Experts have cautioned that Ghana’s natural forests run the risk of extinction in between the  next 10 years and  20 years with the high possibility of the country importing timber for construction if the high rate of illegal timber logging was  not restrained.  
Source: Justice Lee Adoboe

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