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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Ghana needs paradigm-shift in forest management: expert 

ACCRA (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 farming practices.

“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.

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