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Forestry Commission, Partners sign MoU on Restoration of Tain II forest Reserve
Forestry Commission,Partners sign MoU on Restoration of Tain II forest Reserve

Ghana moves to restore ailing forests

A  memorandum  of  understanding has been signed  among five  organizations with  the aim to undertake a landscape  restoration  in the Tain II Forest  reserve  and its fringe areas in the  Brong Ahafo  Region . Similar gesture is expected to be extended to other forest reserves in the country.

The agreement, which was signed among  the Forestry Commission, Form  Ghana Limited,   Form International BV, the  Brekum Traditional  Council and  the Brekum Municipal Assembly will start with a pilot intervention covering an area of approximately 2,000  hectares  and ultimately  intended to restore a landscape of 10,000 hectares(1,000 KM2)  in and around the Tain II forest reserve  in the  Brong Ahafo Region.

The agreement covers a period of four-years, from 2017 to 2021, for phase I and it is expected to   cost $6million. It is being supported by partnerships for forests, a Department for International Development, Uk (DFID) programme.

At the signing ceremony, in Accra last week, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey,  said   after successful first term, a revised agreement will be signed, which will extend  the agreement for further four years.

Mr Allotey, submitted, “This MoU builds on a Public Private  Partnership established in 2013,between the  forestry  Commission,  the Brekum traditional Council  and  form Ghana to restore  the  Tain II  forest reserve. This is part of efforts to advance PPP initiatives by the government of Ghana and the forestry commission’s mandate to ensure the sustainable management of Ghana’s Forests.

He told the gathering that the pilot intervention would focus mainly on community owned and managed land fringing the Tain II forest reserve.

Parties to the agreement, he said, have committed to increasing tree cover and making agriculture and forestry more sustainable and more profitable; provide enhanced social and economic perspective to local communities and businesses as well as make local communities more resilient to external threats such as climate change.

They have also committed to improving the governance of the landscape tol achieve good stewardship, reduce wildfire risk as well as combat forest encroachment and illegal logging.

He continued, “Under this project, the partnership will develop Suitable agricultural and forestry systems tailored to the local area, provide technical assistance and inputs to farmers assists with fire control and environmental management.”

The Tain II forest reserve which  is  located  in the Brong Ahafo Region, has  been degraded through wild fires  and illegal forest activities which have  reduced  the  reserve’s ability to supply timber and other forest products and services for the forest sector and local population.

“The Forest reserve and the fringe areas therefore need urgent attention as in its current state, biodiversity is at risk, quality of current agriculture and forest plantation is low, and the reserve experiences wild fire among other threats,” Mr Allotey added.

The Omanhene of Berekum Traditional Area,Nana Dasebere Amankona Diawuo II, expressed satisfaction at the initiation of the project. He expressed the hope that cocoa farming, which used to be the major economic activity of the people would be restored as well as the natural vegetation.

On his part Mr, Willem Fourie, Managing Director of Form Ghana, said the company was aware that in order to succeed it must look outward to support the restoration of forests and lands in the adjoining communities.

Present at the signing ceremony were the Omanhene of the Brekum Traditional Area, Nana Dasebre Amankoma Diawuo II, Mr Willem Fourie, Managing Director of Form Ghana, Mr Wisdom Kporngor,Minicipal  Budget Analyst,Brekum Municipal Assembly among other dignitaries .

 

By: Mohammed Suleman

 

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