TCDA to clamp down on illegal tree felling
THE Tree Crop Development Authority (TCDA) has said it will step up efforts to clamp down on illegal felling of trees, particularly economic trees in the country.
In line with that, the authority was putting up zonal offices across the country to enhance its operations and also sensitise the public to desist from the practice.
“We have stepped up efforts to curb the situation by setting up zonal offices, and also embarked on sensitisation exercise to educate the public on the laws.
“Anyone who flouts the law will be dealt with to serve as deterrent to others,” the authority added.
The Chief Executive Officer of the TCDA, William Quaittoo, who made this known in an interview with the Daily Graphic in Tamale, said the tree crops regulations prohibit the indiscriminate felling of trees, and that anyone found culpable would face the full rigours of the law.
Per the regulations, any individual or entity that wanted to fell a tree for a reasonable purpose was expected to seek a permit from the authority or the Forestry Commission (FC).
Mr Quaittoo further said the authority was undertaking series of interventions to reposition the sector as key player in the country's economy with immense potential for growth and development.
Key among the interventions, he said, was the planting of grafted shea seedlings across the savannah ecological zone to respond to the threat to the shea industry and also help tackle climate change.
Mr Quiattoo expressed concern that illegal felling of economic trees was not only affecting livelihoods of rural folks, but also taking a toll on the environment as trees made up the vegetative cover.
The survival of indigenous and economic trees, particularly shea, has come under major threat with an upsurge in the felling of the trees in the savannah ecological zone.
Large tracts of these species, which serve as major source of livelihood for rural population, particularly women, are going extinct due to the indiscriminate felling of trees for charcoal and firewood.
The perpetrators, referred to as “shea tree entrepreneurs”, are said to be feeding the growing demand of pito brewers and other commercial users.
The shea tree charcoal and firewood are said to be in high demand in the market in recent times because they last longer than charcoal and firewood from other tree species.
The authority recently inaugurated a Shea Technical Working Group in Tamale.
The group, which is a convergence of relevant and diverse professionals drawn from the public and private sectors, research institutions, academia and civil society organisations, seeks to coordinate and adopt best practices and strategies to promote the sustainable development of the industry.
It will serve as a platform for stakeholders from the public and private sectors to collaborate and coordinate their efforts for the overall development of the sector.