Lands Ministry declares zero tolerance for illegal logging

BY: Timothy Ngnenbe
Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (2nd left), the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources
Mr Benito Owusu-Bio (2nd left), the Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources

The Deputy Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Mr Benito Owusu-Bio has cautioned illegal loggers to stop their activities with immediate effect or be prepared to face the law.

He said the move was part of measures to prevent the wanton destruction of the forest cover and help to fight climate change.

Speaking to staff of the Forestry Commission at Goaso in the Ahafo Region on January 6, 2022, stressed that persons who connived with  illegal operators to log indiscriminately would be dealt with according to the law.

"We know that you know the chainsaw operators in the communities, please advise them to stay away from illegal logging in their own interest,” he cautioned.

He also called on the staff of the Forestry Services Division(FSD), the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD)  and the Wildlife Division to work together to  ensure that confiscated wood that were auctioned did not go back to those involved in the illegal act.

"You can not benefit from your own illegalities,” he stressed.

Mr Owusu-Bio further charged the state officials to put in place adequate measures to halt the practice as a matter of urgency.

Green Ghana

The Deputy Minister called on the staff of Forestry Commission to brace up for the 2022 Green Ghana Day which targets to plant 20 million trees.

While commending them for the role they played in last year's Green Ghana project, he said there was more work to be done to restore the environment.

He urged the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council and traditional leaders to support the 2022 Green Ghana initiative.

"There is urgent need for the Regional Forestry team to work with the Regional Minister who is the Head of Regional Security Council (REGSEC), to help reduce the rate of  deforestation and forest degradation in the  region," he said.


For his part, the Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr George Boakye, commended the Forestry Commission staff for their collaboration so far and called for increased commitment to curb the menace.

"This year, the  Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council will support the Forestry Commission in the region to fully  implement and achieve  its 2022 Green Ghana target of 1.2million seedlings, " he said.

The CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, underscored the importance of the Ahafo Region towards restoring the country’s forest cover and appealed to the Regional Minister to help combat and improve upon the forestry situation in the region.

He added that the Commission was mobilising early to provide funds and  support the various districts to execute the oversight responsibility.