Over 2,652 hectares of degraded forest have been developed (re-planted) in the Central Region since 2002 under the National Forest Plantation Development Programmes by the Forestry Commission.
The Assistant Central Regional Manager of the Forest Services Division (FSD) of Forestry Commission, Mr Yaw Atuahene Nyarko, made this known at a day’s workshop organised by the Winneba Youth for the Environment, an NGO, in Winneba in the Central Region yesterday
The workshop was under the theme: ‘Tree planting for sustainable environmental conservation’.
He said a large number of species including teak Cedrella, Emire, Neem, Ofram, Baku, Mansonia and Cassia have been planted in the Cape Coast, Assin Fosu Dunkwa on-Offin and Winneba forest districts.
Mr Nyarko said with the programme on-going, the target for this year is 500 hectares and this includes off-reserve areas.
He said out of the 29 forest reserves under the management of FSD in the Central Region, only nine are production forest reserves, five of which are in Dunkwa District.
He said the health of some of these production reserves are in a bad state due to over exploitation and chainsaw activities.
Mr Wilson Owusu-Asare, Winneba District Forestry Manager, said 234.60 hectares of plantation had been established in both reserve and outside reserve areas in 2010 and 2011 in the district.
He said this year’s plantation includes green fire break establishment at the Aboakyer hunting grounds as well as increasing the vegetation cover of some degraded areas within the hunting grounds.
Mr Owusu-Asare said the Winneba District forest management supplies between 20,000 and 30,000 tree seedlings freely to some NGOs, schools, churches, corporate institutions and individuals to support the greening Ghana programme annually.
He said five Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs) comprising five Forest Reserves in the Southern Dry forest of the Winneba Forest District are being developed for ecotourism with the participation of the local Community Biodiversity Advisory Groups (CBAG).
The five GSBAs are all protected reserves with total perimeter of 20.23 km and total area of 9.36 km square. They are Ahirasu one and two, Akrabong, Obotumfo and Abasumba all in the Awutu-Senya District.
The Effutu Municipal Chief Executive, Nii Ephraim, appealed to the youth to consider the protection and revitalization of Muni Ramsar Site in Winneba.