By Samuel Duodu,
THE World Environment Day has been celebrated in Sunyani with a call on Ghanaians to collectively work to protect the country’s forests.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of African Media Aid, a Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Mr Raphael Godlove Ahenu Junior, who made the call when he spoke with journalists said, the loss of the forests had direct negative consequences on the environment and national development.
He attributed deforestation in Ghana to factors including illegal farming in the forest reserves, surface mining, slash and burn agriculture and bush fires among others.
The CEO revealed that currently forest products account for between five to six per cent of Ghana ’s Gross Domestic Product and are the fourth most important export earner for the country.
This potential, Mr. Ahenu Junior noted, was however, under threat because of human activities.
The CEO pointed out that successful wildfire management would play an important role of restoring forest cover.
Mr Ahenu Jr. called for the enforcement of wildfire management laws in the forest areas and the country as a whole to bring the wildfire menace under control.
According to him, African Media Aid, in collaboration with Centre for Domestic Development Services, another NGO, is to implement an environmental project dubbed, “ Rural Environmental Empowerment and Wood Fuel Development Project (REEWODEP)” in three districts of the Brong Ahafo Region.
He mentioned the beneficiary districts as Kintampo North, Wenchi and Tain.
Mr Ahenu Jr said under the project about 1,200 farmers selected from 12 communities in the beneficiary districts would be assisted to go into plantation development.
The CEO appealed to international organizations interested in environmental issues to support the project.