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Forestry C’ssion to monitor with drones forests

PThe Forestry Commission (FC) is in the process of acquiring drones to enhance effective monitoring of the forests in the country.

To that effect the commission has begun training its technical officers to handle the drones.

Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, disclosed this at a media briefing at the World International Day of Forests celebration at the head office of the Forestry Commission at Achimota in Accra yesterday.

He said the International Day of Forests which is celebrated on March 21, every year, was set aside in 2012 by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly to raise awareness on the importance of all types of forests and trees outside forests.

The UN, however, allows member states to choose a date for the celebration of the day that suits their peculiar national circumstances.  This year’s celebration is on the theme, “Forests and Education, our Responsibility”

Mr Afriyie said “Ghana has chosen to celebrate this year from June 4 to June 14 at Sunyani in the Bono Region to coincide with the major rainy and planting season to ensure greater survival of the planted seedlings.”

He explained that the theme was meant to provide the opportunity to educate the general public on the tremendous potentials of the forest in the life of man and the economy in general.

According to Mr Afriyie, deforestation and degradation through illegal forest activities had been the challenge to forest management, resulting in climate change impact, drying up of water bodies, destruction of wildlife habitats, high temperatures and unreliable rainfall pattern and food insecurity.

To mitigate these factors, he said the commission in collaboration with the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and other stakeholders would embark on a massive education campaign targeting the youth for them to know the need to protect and conserve the forests.

Additionally, the campaign would educate the public on the way to restore the nation’s depleted forest through sensitisation, awareness creation and behavioural change approach, he said.

The Chief Executive Officer said a massive tree planting exercise would be conducted in all the regions and the districts of the country to commemorate the day to improve the forest cover.

Activities earmarked for the week are the launch of the 8th Forest Week and Greening Ghana Day celebration, inter schools quiz competition on sustainable forest management practices, tree planting exercise, educational campaign on various media platforms and a grand durbar of stakeholders.

SETH ADU AGYEI

Mr Owusu Afriyie (behind microphones) briefing the media

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