Forest plantation management company, Form International, through its local subsidiary, Form Ghana is teaming up with government of Ghana to restore 100,000 hectares or 1000 kilometer square (1000 km² ) of degraded forest in the country.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed here on Monday with the Forestry Commission representing the government of Ghana, the Berekum Traditional Council and the Berekum District Assembly (local government authorities ) which covers the first phase of the project aims at restoring 2000 hectares of degraded forest around Berekum near Sunyani, 400 kms north of the capital over the next four years.
The project aims at making the local communities more resilient to external threats such as Climate Change; increasing the tree cover and make agriculture and forestry more sustainable and more profitable; as well as provide enhanced social and economic perspectives to local communities and businesses.
“Ultimately the partners aim to restore 100,000 hectares (one kilometer) in and around the Tain Forest Reserve in the Brong Ahafo Region,” John Allotey, Deputy Chief Executive Officer (Deputy CEO) of the Forestry Commission disclosed.
He said the Tain Forest Reserve had been degraded through wild fires and illegal logging activities which have reduced the ability of the reserve to supply timber and other forest products and services for the forestry sector and local communities.
The Deputy CEO added the project will also help improve the governance of the landscape to achieve good land stewardship,; reduce wildlife risks; combat forest encroachment and illegal logging; while enhancing biodiversity and nature values for present and future generations.
The first phase being supported by the Department For International Development (DFID) of Britain would be carried out at the cost of six million US Dollars with the opportunity to renew for a further four years if the first phase is successful.
“Although we are a commercial entity, we know that to succeed we must look outward to support the restoration of forests and lands in the adjoining communities,” Willem Fourie, Managing Director of Form Ghana noted.
Dasebere Amankona Diawuo II Traditional Ruler of the Berekum Traditional Area expressed satisfaction at the initiation of the project, expressing the hope that cocoa farming which used to be the major economic activity of the people shall be restored while the natural vegetation is restored to what it used to be. Enditem