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Forestry Commission awards staff members

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Social Forestry Commission Awards
Social Forestry Commission Awards

The Forestry Commission (FC) has presented individual awards to 15 of its staff members in recognition for their commitment, dedication, and outstanding services to the Commission over the years.

Two former staff were presented with meritorious awards, while the Rapid Response Team at the Takoradi District Office of the FC was also recognized for its roles in protecting the country’s forest reserves.

The awardees each received citations, an amount of GHC3,000, a customized watch and the option to choose between a refrigerator, television set and microwave at the 2023 FC Chief Executive’s End of Year Briefing and Staff Recognition Awards ceremony, held in Takoradi.

Mr John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Commission, speaking at the ceremony said the awards were to show appreciation to the staff for their invaluable contributions to the success of the Commission over the years.

He said it was also appropriate to recognize them to serve as a form of motivation to both the winners and the others to continue to work hard and give of their best to ensure the Commission successfully achieved its mandates.

Giving an overview of activities of the Commission for the year, Mr Allotey said staff strength had a 3.3 per cent increase from 4,323 in 2022 to 4,467 this year, saying the Rapid Response Team (RRT) members increased from 48 after its inception in 2012 to 130 in 2023.

“As part of the RRTs key achievements, 67,784 assorted lumbers were seized or evacuated, 290 suspects engaged in various illegalities were arrested, 181 chainsaws were seized, 119 excavators were destroyed and 51 vehicles were arrested among others”, he said.

He said during this year’s Green Ghana Day project, the Commission supervised the planting of over 10.7 million tree seedlings as against an initial target of 10 million.

Mr Allotey mentioned that a total of 249,749.32 metric cubes valued at €114 million as against an annual target of 270,000 metric cubes with a value of €145 millions of timber were exported as at the end of October this year.

Other activities were health and safety training for staff members, commissioning of a new Eastern Regional office complex, and the establishment of a Wood Forensic Laboratory, among others.

Touching on challenges, he noted that illegal mining and logging, bush fires and cattle grazing continued to be their major operational issues and said the Commission would put in place stringent mechanisms to deal with them.
On some of their operational target for next year, Mr Allotey said the Commission would among other things supervise the successful completion of reclamation and re-vegetation activities in mined-out sites within the Denyau Shelterbelt, Supuma and Afao Hills forest reserves.

He indicated that they would cut sod for a Koforidua Zoo project and build regional office for Western North and a District office for Kyebi.

“We will complete documentation for additional financing and procurement process for the construction works in Shai Hills Resource Reserve, Kakum and Mole National Parks to begin under the Ghana Tourism Development Project,” he added.

Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, Deputy Minister in charge of Lands and Forestry at Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, congratulated the awardees for their selfless roles in ensuring the management of the country’s forest resources.

Mr Augustine Kofi Gyedu, an awardee who spoke on behalf of the award winners, expressed gratitude to the management of the Forestry Commission for recognizing their efforts in ensuring the success of the organization over the years.

He pledged their commitment to continue to work assiduously to ensure the Commission delivered on its mandates.

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