Threatened Forest Estates

Our forests and the fauna therein have never been so threatened. From chainsaw operators to hunters of so-called bush meat our forest estates risk losing their critical features if something is not done about the reckless pastime of persons who could not care about their irresponsible occupations.

It was exciting, therefore, when the president, the chief justice and other dignitaries as it were joined hands in a much needed resolve to fight forest degradation in the country.

The chief justice could not have put it better when she promised releasing punitive judicial measures to deter bad persons who would stop at nothing in their quest for treasured trees and endangered wildlife.

The sight of all manner of animals by the roadside freshly killed or smoked on our highways suggest how these wildlife are preyed upon by mankind who hardly think about the possible extinction of the animals.

Were we able to determine the volume of animals killed through hunting annually, we would have been shocked at how close we are at totally wiping some species of wildlife.

Most of those who hunt these animals have the erroneous notion that their numbers are inexhaustible and would sneer at those who counsel them to be wary about such possibility.

We recall the efforts of the Department of Game and Wildlife to advise hunters about the hunting season and which animals should be spared the traps and musketry at certain periods of the year. We wonder how many persons abide the annual good counsel.

We recommend to the local authorities the Ugandan model. As the East African country, the citizens have been educated about the importance of the country’s wildlife and so they all put in their individual efforts to conserve these animals. In Francophone countries, the deliberate killing of wildlife attracts a punitive penalty.

Turning to our forests, some species of trees have almost vanished because of the unsustainable felling regime going on in there.

Chainsaw operators in spite of the law outlawing their operations continue to engage in the occupation as though nothing is at stake.

At the rate of destruction of our forests by aggressive chainsaw owners, we stand the risk of losing most of our forest estate in the next two decades or so.

Those who doubt the effects of the unsustainable human activities in the forests should go find out what the Caribbean islands have suffered at the hands of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and others in recent times. Even President Donald Trump who did not believe in climate change appears to have revised his notes.

We take solace in the promise of President Akufo-Addo and other important personalities such as the chief justice to reverse the trend through the unfurling of appropriate policies and judicial interventions. That is the way to go and we doff our hats for them. Our forests must survive.