Ghana's Transformed Forestry Commission
Alice Acheaa Boateng The Independent - Accra marzo 2002
Hello children, it is always good to say a word of prayer to the Lord Almighty, more especially when another week sees us alive. I hope every one of you is very fine.
Well. As usual let's have something to enhance our scope of knowledge. Children, do you know it is very important for us to protect our forest.
This is the reason why some institutions like the Ghana forestry Commission have not relented in their efforts at protecting the growth of forests in Ghana.
For example the forestry Commission aims at creating protection and managing the permanent forest estates and protected areas in the country to conserve Ghana's Biophysical heritage. In addition the Commission regulates the harvesting if timber and other non-forest timber products.
Children, timber is one of Ghana's rich sources of income. Yes indeed, it is used for almost everything seen in our rooms. Of course we cannot do without timber. I want to use this medium therefore to call on local government, landowners, forest fringe communities, forest industries and non-governmental organisations to assist in achieving Ghana's efforts at making gains through the forest sector.
GHANA'S TRANSFORMED FORESTRY COMMISSION
Last weeks editorial focused on the forestry Commission of Ghana. For the purpose of enhancing the children and reader's knowledge. I wish to throw more light on it this week.
The forestry Commission was established By an Act of Parliament - Act 571 1999. Although Ghana's policies for sustainable forest and wildlife management were sound, putting them into practice was difficult. Due to limited financial resources.
The institutional arrangement in the sector had different departments operating independently in the management of forest and wildlife resources and regulation of industry without any coordination. This however led to overlaps and inefficiencies.
An existing forestry commission then only played an advisory role and had no mandate to coordinate the activities of these institutions. Additionally, most of the departments being part of the civil service, did not receive the required budget or personnel resources to cope with the increasing pressures of forest and wildlife management.
This called for a new forestry commission to be set up. The new commission to be up. The new commission is a corporate body integrating the activities of all the public agencies that were previously individually responsible for the management and regulation of utilization of forests and wildlife resources in Ghana. Since the establishment of the new Forestry Commission by Act 571 of 1995, the commission has focused on improving staff performance, monitoring, co-ordination and accountability.
The Forestry Commission has managers from various Divisions who are trained to be aware of the forests and wildlife value as assets and to develop business-like attitude in delivering services. This change of focus enables scarce resources to be targeted at clearly defined priorities.
The meaningful changes now in evidence are desirable and affordable and are an integral part of government's commitment to a wider programme of public sector reform. The new forestry commission meets the requirements of the 1994 forestry and wildlife policy, the National Institutional Renewal Programme and civil Service Performance Improvement Programme.
Children. I believe you would agree with me that, the forestry commission's objective would need the support of all Ghanaian's in order for it to have a corporate body of excellence in the sustainable development management and utilization of Ghana's forest and wildlife resources.
This will help meet both national and global standards for forest and wildlife resources, conservation and development. A Board of commissioners is ultimately responsible for running the commission and chief executive and Administrative Head appointed for the Commission.
Furthermore, the forestry commission is assisted by the minister responsible for forestry who has managerial skills and is accountable to parliament for the work of the Commission. Moreover, the Forestry Commission provides the ministry of Lands, Forestry and Mines (MLFM) with information, advice and options to add significant value to the policy development process.