The Member of Parliament for Gomoa East, Desmond De-graft Paitoo has called on the government to institute measures to curb the wanton destruction of the country’s forest cover.
Mr De-graft Paitoo made the call in an address to Parliament on Friday in connection with the celebration of the United Nations International Day of Forest which is being marked world-wide under the global theme “Forests and sustainable production and consumption.”
He said the country’s forests was under various forms of threats: illegal mining, lumbering, logging, over grazing, fuel wood extraction and irregular farming which had led to Ghana being rated as the third most deforested country, out of 65 nations in a study undertaken by the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO).
The Global Forest Watch, he disclosed, had also indicated that between the period of 2001 to 2019, Ghana lost 5.5 per cent of tree cover and that in 2020, the country lost 136 Kha (thousand hectares) of natural forest, equivalent to 82.2 MT (metric tonne) of Co2 emissions.
“This trend, ‘is disturbing and must not be allowed to continue as the consequences in the coming years will be dreadful to the country’ said the NDC MP for Gomoa East Constituency who is also a member of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Agriculture, Food and Cocoa Affairs.”
He disclosed that the theme for this year emphasised how forest-based innovations, resource efficiency, forest-based products and ecosystems services could contribute to a sustainable lifestyle, and accelerate a shift towards more sustainable consumption and production in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) of the United Nations for good health, well-being and a transition towards low carbon and green economies.
The MP was of the view that though successive governments had made efforts to promote tree planting and the enactment of numerous legislation to protect the forests, the impact of these measures had been slow due, to the rather week enforcement of regulations.
This year’s celebration of the UN International Day of Forests will be a form of high level panel discussion Online at the Swedish Pavilion, The Forest Expo, in Dubai with in-person participants drawn from the Food and Agriculture Organization (FA0), the International Union of Forest Research Organisations (IUFRO), World Congress 2024 and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).
The UN General Assembly declared 21st day of March as the International Day of Forests by a resolution on November 28, 2012 to celebrate and raise awareness of the importance of all types of forests.
The first ever Forest Day was observed on March 21, 2013, under the theme “Forests and their vital and life sustaining role”.
BY TIMES REPORTER