GIF warns about threats to forests and biodiversity

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IFAD calls for a robust and ambitious agreement at biodiversity COP to protect the future of rural communities and food security around the world.
IFAD calls for a robust and ambitious agreement at biodiversity COP to protect the future of rural communities and food security around the world.

The Ghana Institute of Foresters (GIF) held its 26th annual general meeting at the Forestry Commission Training Centre, Akyawkrom, which addressed critical issues threatening the nation’s forest and biodiversity.

The meeting was held on Nov. 23, on the theme “Sustaining the Ecological Integrity of Ghana’s Forests.”

The institute expressed concern over the impact of the Environmental Protection Regulation L.I. 2462, which allows mining leases in forest reserves for up to 24 years.

The meeting highlighted the rapid increase in mining activities, endangering not only the forests but also biodiversity and essential ecological services.

The meeting noted the threat to Ghana’s economy, particularly cocoa production, due to mining on arable lands, risking a potential EU ban on cocoa exports if environmental concerns were not addressed promptly.

GIF emphasised Ghana’s commitment to international conventions on biodiversity conservation and climate change.

The institute stressed the role of forests in mitigating climate change and called for action to align policies with these commitments.

The meeting made a series of recommendations, including the repeal of L.I. 2462, the cessation of new mineral concessions, the reclamation of mined-out areas, and the involvement of the military to combat illegal mining.

Professor Samuel Oppong, the GIF National President, called for an executive ban on all mining activities in forest reserves, backed by legislation.
He called for political will in the fight against mining activities in forest reserves and appealed to traditional authorities to halt issuing permits for mining in these areas.

GIF expressed its commitment to collaborating with the government and stakeholders to safeguard Ghana’s forests, recognising their crucial role in biodiversity conservation, clean water provision, oxygen production, wildlife habitat, and climate change mitigation.

The GIF’s resolute stand signals a united front against the looming threats to Ghana’s invaluable forests, promoting a call for immediate and comprehensive action to ensure the sustainable management and preservation of this vital natural resource.

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