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Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie
Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie

Sunyani hosts grand durbar for International Day of Forests

Sunyani, the administrative capital of the newly created Bono Region will host this year’s grand durbar of stakeholders to climax the International Day of Forests in June.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie made this known in Accra recently during the media launch of the International Day of Forests.

Mr Owusu Afriyie stated, “The celebration will be held in the Bono Regional Capital of Sunyani;” adding that, “Forests in and around Sunyani have not been spared the reckless destruction and this unfortunate phenomenon has resulted in a rapid rate of environmental degradation in its entirety.”

March 21 every year has been declared as the International Day of Forests. The Day is set aside by the UN to raise awareness of the importance of all types of forest and trees outside the forest. The UN however allows member states to adapt the date of the celebration to suit their peculiar circumstances.

Ghana therefore, has settled on the month of June every year for the celebration of the Day to coincide with the rainy and planting season. This year’s celebration, the eighth since its inception would be observed from June 10 to 14, 2019.

The celebration would be held on the theme, “Forest and Education, Our Responsibility.” It would focus on the role of trees in mitigating the impact of climate change and the positive effect of urban green spaces, among other areaS relative to the Forestry sector.

According to the Mr Owusu Afriyie the choice of the theme for the celebration is meant to provide the opportunity to educate the general public on the tremendous potential of forests toward the sustainability of lives and the economy in general.

He mentioned that deforestation and forest degradation through illegal forest activities is   perhaps the greatest challenge to forest management today and the consequences are being manifested through adverse climate change impacts.

He noted that the global the theme of this celebration year’s celebration is timely considering that it would involve all sundry to educate one another on the importance of the forest and the need to protect the forest resources against wanton destruction.

“Educating the general populace is one of the ways which can restore the nation’s depleted forests. This involves awareness creation, sensitization and behavioural change approaches to forest protection, development and participatory planning and management,” Mr Afriyie observed.

On monitoring illegal activities in the country’s forest reserves, the CEO said the Commission is considering the deployment of technology such as the use of drones to counter the situation.

He said the use of modern technology would ensure easy access to the forests, move over a larger area in a short period of time and reconcile information in real time.

He told the gathering that the commission would acquire at least 10 drones for each of the regions for the purposes of monitoring in order to protect the country’s forest reserves from illegal activities.
Forest Commission and other stakeholders, he indicated, would engage in massive educational programmes targeting especially, the youth, who are the future leaders and policy makers on the need to protect and conserve forests. There will also be massive tree planting exercises in all regions and districts throughout the country to commemorate the event.

Other activities earmarked for this year’s week-long celebration include, the launch of the 8th Forestry Week & Greening Ghana Day Celebration, Inter-schools quiz competition on Sustainable Forest Management Practices, Tree Planting exercises and Grand Durbar of Stakeholders.

 

By Mohammed Suleman

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