Every country needs land with some vegetation cover, at least, for agricultural and aesthetic purposes.
Those with forests get additional benefits, including varied flora and fauna (plants and animals) which relate to their particular forest zones.
From the flora and fauna accrue these additional benefits such as timber species for uses such as furniture, roofing material and for making some parts of vehicles.
Due to ever-growing populations with the attendant repercussions, every country is losing part of its vegetation cover.
For instance, Ghana, with a land size of 238,535 km² had 21.7 per cent of it (4.940 m hectares) as a forest cover (a hectare of an areais equal to 100 acres or 10,000 m²).
Unfortunately, due to expansion of communities, building of infrastructure, illegal logging, agricultural practices and mining activities, the country is rapidly losing its forest cover.
A Global Forest Watch (GFW) satellite data from the University of Maryland, USA, for instance, estimates that there was a 60-per cent increase in Ghana’s primary rainforest loss in 2018 compared to the 2017 data and that was the highest percentile in the world as the second highest situation in neighboring Côte d’Ivoire was a 28 per cent.
The country’s Forestry Commission record that nearly 80 per cent of Ghana’s forest resources under state management has been lost to illegal logging activity since 1990 can be used to support the GFW assertion.
So far the seeming standing record is that Ghana’s forest cover of 87,580 sq. km in 2001 had gradually reduced to 79,857 sq. km in 2020.
The picture painted here is serious, which why the call by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Member of Parliament (MP) for Gomoa East, Mr Desmond de-Graft Paitoo, on the government to institute measures to curb the wanton destruction of the country’s forest cover must be taken seriously.
In fact, some of the measures to take have already been provided by researchers.
They include government regulations, fighting illegal logging, reforestation and afforestation, reducing use of paper, education and sensitisation, and reducing consumption of deforestation-prone products like palm oil and soybeans.
The Ghanaian Times has doubt that the Gomoa East MP would just wake up and begin to express worry about a problem he has not taken time to analyse.
Besides, the MP knows very well that in this era of rule of law and human rights, for any measure, especially one at the national level, to work, it must be backed by law.
Is the MP saying there are no laws already to be enforced?
Even if that is the case, why should the MP call on the government to move without him, a legislator, moving in his capacity as a lawmaker if he sees the destruction of the country’s forest, not the ruling New Patriotic Party’s forest, as a problem?
Is he making that call because he is in opposition?
His posture would have been accepted any time before December, 2020 when only the Executive introduced all the bills passed by Parliament into law.
Now the country’s Parliament entertains Private Member’s Bill, which is a bill introduced by individual MPs rather than the Government.
The country has come a long way to a place where accountability in all aspects of its life for the benefits of the people must be exacted and if that would succeed, the people’s representatives in Parliament come in as front liners to demand that accountability.
The Ghanaian Times, therefore, wishes to appeal to the constituents not to tolerate MPs who employ all manner of excuses to shirk their responsibilities towards them.
All manner of partisanship in the legislature must stop.
It is obvious that not every move made by opposition MPs would be acted on by the government but they should make the move to be put on record and the move must not be propaganda
This is because propaganda is not good for anyone but rather smacks of self-centredness and devious way of seeking one’s interests.