Forests act as giant air filters for the world. When forests are destroyed, it adds to climate change because forests trap carbon and help stabilise the world’s climate.
When forests are ruined, the carbon trapped in trees, their roots and the soil is released into the atmosphere. Available records show that deforestation around the world accounts for up to 20 per cent of all carbon emissions.
Environmental experts describe deforestation as the large-scale removal of trees from forests (or other lands) for the facilitation of human activities. It is a serious environmental concern since it can result in the loss of biodiversity, damage to natural habitats, disturbances in the water cycle and soil erosion.
Most importantly, life could not exist on earth without trees because they produce most of the oxygen that humans and wildlife breathe. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen using the process of photosynthesis.
That is why, the Ghanaian Times is concerned that timber racketeers are on the rampage, rapidly depleting the rich vegetative cover on the Tindubu Hill Forest Reserve in the North Dayi District of the Volta Region.
Described as one of the few forest reserves left in the region, our Regional Correspondent Albert Noretti reported that, the racketeers are daringly carrying out their nefarious activities in the woods at night at Tsyome-Sabadu forest reserve.
“With the trend now, our children and children’s children will only become survivors and not inheritors,” complained the assemblyman, Mr Amedor Senyo Dzamposu as he conducted the Ghanaian Times round the community on Saturday.
He said that some unpatriotic local saboteurs were cahoots with the looters including illegal chainsaw operators to deplete the forest for paltry gains.
According to him, members of the ‘Timber Mafia’ transported their booty out of the reserve unnoticed in very devious ways before transporting them to the urban centres, where they sell them for a fortune.
Mr Dzamposu said that what was even more disturbing was that the criminals cut down the trees with impunity, “even though forest guards are supposed to be present.”
The assemblyman said that the chainsaw operators had now ‘destroyed’ the greater portion of Rosewood, Wawa and Odum in the reserve and as of sometime last year; the hill was largely “naked,” with virtually no trees.
Worse, he said, the activities of local charcoal burners in recent time were further killing the soil in the reserve.
The Ghanaian Times is surprised that the local authorities have allowed the plunder of forest reserve which is supposed to have been protected for future generations.
By their negligence and inaction, the local authorities are tacitly conniving with the saboteurs to put the lives of both present and future generations in danger. This must stop.
We join the assemblyman to call on the government to intervene immediately and implement a vigorous afforestation programme to save the reserve from total destruction.
In addition, we implore the security agencies and all other stakeholders to focus their attention on the area and stop the illegal activities and anyone caught in such activities should be arrested and prosecuted.
Let’s save Tindubu Hill Forest Reserve