timber • Front view of the office complex
• Front view of the office complex

 The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Samuel Abu Jinapor has inaugurated modern office complex for the Forestry Commission in the Eastern Region.

The facility which would enable the com­mission to have a serene place to execute its mandates in the seven forest districts in the region has 13 offices, a 60-sitting capacity conference room, reception, kitchenette, and water storage and sanitation facilities.

Mr Jinapor in an address stated that the issue of climate change and forest have become very prominent in the governance of the country and in the affairs of the world, adding that currently one of the key major existential threats to planet earth was climate change and its negative consequences.

He said statistics has revealed that since 1900, the country, as a result the negative effects, have lost about 80 per cent of its for­estry cover and stated that government has come up with policies for the forestry sector to enable it recover the lost forest cover and protect existing forest cover of the country.

“The first policy is our strategy of aggres­sive afforestation and reforestation. We are talking about restoring the lost forest cover of our country and the second strategy is to protect the existing forest cover of our country,” he emphasised.

The Lands Minister revealed that there had been several interventions and initiatives in­cluding the forest and cocoa initiatives which had been implemented in the various forest areas of the country to ensure that more trees were planted to achieve the needed results.

He revealed that on the June 9, this year, the President would lead the whole country to plant 10 million trees on the Green Ghana Day, adding “this would take us to 30 million plus trees planted during the since the year 2021.”

Mr Jinapor indicated that the facility would therefore aid personnel of the commission to protect the 49 forest reserves in the Eastern Region, and called on them to discharge their mandates without fear or favour and in ac­cordance to the laws of the country and the rules and regulations governing the forestry reserves in the region.

He called on them to ward off the reserves illegal miners, loggers and any activity that destroyed the forest reserves, and assured forestry personnel of government’s full support as well as its commitment to ensure their welfare.

For his part, the Chief Executive Offi­cer of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey said the office would manage seven forest districts including Oda, Kibi, Kade, Begoro, Mpraeso, Somanya and Donkokrom.

He said protection of forest reserves in these seven forest districts was important to ensure the government and the citizenry derive full benefits from the forest reserves.

The Forestry Commission Board Chair­man, Omanhene of Wassa Amenfi Tradition­al Area, Tetrete Okuamoah Sekyim II for his part said it was necessary for government to preserve the country’s forest reserves for the benefit of its citizenry, adding the edifice would help to coordinate affairs to do so.