Stop Granting Forest Permits – Vision 2050
Dr Frank Frempong
VISION 2050 Forestry (VFL), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has asked the Forestry Commission (FC) to quickly stop granting exploitation licences, permits and conveyance certificates to lumber traders in order to preserve Ghana’s forests cover.
It said the FC should rather address illegal logging seriously, as it threatens livelihood and existence of rural communities.
Dr Frank Frempong, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of VFL, said the FC must be at the forefront of restoring the country’s forests, adding that the legal framework must be amended to allow for more private participation.
According to VTF, Ghana’s tropical forest cover has decreased from 8.6 million hectares at the beginning of the 1900s to about 1.6 million hectares in 1990, and the deforestation rate is high – nearly 65,000 hectares per year.
The government is unable to provide all the financial resources needed to carry out all the afforestation and reforestation projects, hence the urgent need to court private capital inflow into the sector.
“VTF’s major concern is that about 98% of lumber in our markets is illegal- how do the perpetrators cross all the security and forestry check points without arrests? We are all at risk,” said Dr. Frempong, adding that VTF has invested $120 million to grow 200 million trees nationwide and suggests that demand for wood by the current generation can be met by culling only 5% every year.
“In view of the magnitude of the harm humans have collectively caused the planet earth, we require climate friendly ideas to drastically reduce or reverse the trend.”
According to recent reports from NASA’s observatory in Mauna Loa in Hawai, the concentration of carbon dioxide ( the main agent causing global warming) has exceeded 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in recorded history.
The centre observes that since its first recording in 1958, the concentration of Carbon Dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere has increased by 24 percent.
This trend shows increasing danger for our existence on earth.
“Private financing of greenhouse emission reduction projects, both domestic and international, can play a critical role in mitigating risk and leveraging greater private investment in climate projects,” he said.
He noted that VFL has so far engaged 300,000 farm managers in 850 communities across the country to oversee its planted trees.
In the past 20 years, funding of the projects has been privately sourced.
A business desk report