A day sensitization workshop aimed at protecting and preserving the forests by stakeholders in the cocoa industry has been held at Sefwi Wiawso, with a call on Forestry Commission to put in place stringent measures to protect them.
Mr Kingsley Aboagye Gyedu, the Western North Regional Minister, made the call at the workshop, organized by Cocoa and Forests Initiative (CFI) and facilitated by IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative.
He said it behooves the forestry authorities to be one step ahead of encroachers whose activities have retarded efforts to protect and preserve the forests.
“We should not look on for people to infiltrate and destroy our forests before spending huge sums of money on forest guards and task forces to intervene, they should stop it before it’s too late,” he said.
The Regional Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Bibiani – Anhwiaso – Bekwai Constituency, commended CFI and its affiliates for their efforts at helping cocoa farmers to protect and preserve cocoa trees.
Mr Gyedu urged the participants to put the knowledge acquired at the workshop, to good use.
Ms Rowen Kyei-Mensah, Programme Manager for IDH – Sustainable Trade Initiative, said her outfit is committed to bringing government and cocoa farmers together, to put an end to deforestation related to cocoa production.
She said her outfit was also ready to support cocoa farmers to adopt sustainable cocoa farming practices and help communities to protect the forests they depend on.
The function, which brought together government officials, traditional authorities, cocoa buying companies, cocoa farmers, the media, and officials from the World Cocoa Foundation (WCF), was chaired by Reverend. Daniel Y. Amaning, Sefwi Wiawso District Minister of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG).