(Xinhua) -- A campaigner and forest advocate
has called on Ghana to have a paradigm-shift in its
forest management in order to have sustainable use of
forests in the country.
Speaking to Xinhua on Friday after a
day’s workshop organized by Friends of the Earth Ghana
on Tree Tenure and Benefit Sharing In Ghana, Obed
Owusu-Addai of Eco-Care, noted that one of the ways
Ghana’s forest reserves got depleted was through wrong
“Agriculture is causing a lot of
forest loss. Deforestation is happening at a 2.3 percent
rate annually in the country and cocoa and other farming
forms contribute 50 percent of this,” he pointed out.
Owusu-Addai urged the Ghana Cocoa
Board and Ministry of Food and Agriculture to carry out
sensitization for farmers to switch to a new variety of
cocoa which will ensure that Ghana made gains from
cocoa, while it also protects its forests and the
country from the vagaries of climate change.
In addition to the adoption of the
right agronomy practices, Nehemiah Odjer-Bio, the
Project Coordinator of Friends of the Earth-Ghana, said
that the process of tree tenure and benefit sharing
should also be used as an incentive to make farmers
voluntarily protect trees on their farms.
Currently, Forestry Commission charges
a 50 percent service fee on each tree felled outside
forest reserves for lumber purposes. Odjer-Bio said part
of this service fee should be shared with farmers who
nurtured the trees on their farms to reach maturity.