Mr Iddi Zakaria, National Coordinator of Shea Network Ghana, said the non-inclusion of non-timber forest resources in the Act is destroying non timber resources and thereby affecting the livelihoods of many”.

forestry
forestry

He was speaking during a panel discussion held in Accra by the Ghana Journalist Association programme dubbed: ‘Business Advocate’ on Ghana Television.

The event is supported by BUSAC Fund, Embassy of Denmark and the United States Agency for International Development and the European Union.

The Forestry Commission Act 571 of 1999, is responsible for the regulation of the utilization of forest and wildlife resources, the conservation and management of those resources and the coordination of policies related to them.

Mr Zakaria said the Act has failed to make specific provisions would mandate the Forestry Commission to protect, conserve and manage the Shea trees and other non-forest economic trees in the northern parts of the country.

He said the country needed an effective law for Shea protection in the face of the absence of by-laws at the district level.

Mr Zakaria said his outfit has engaged the Ministry of Food and Agriculture on the way forward for the Shea industry and expressed the hope that the deliberations of the panel lead to positive results.

He said it behoves on government to give free Shea seedlings to farmers as it has done to cocoa farmers as a way to boost the industry since the sector employs thousands of residents, especially women, within the three northern regions.

Mr Vincent Anchirinah, Manager in charge of Shea Unit at COCOBOD, said their mandate was to play a regulatory role and share the concerns of the organisation on the inclusion of non-timber forest resources in the Act.

Dr Andrew Kyei Adjare, Collaborating Resource Manager, Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, said he supported the amendment of the Act stressing that it would create more job opportunities for the citizenry.

GNA

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