Ghana — The Deputy Minister for Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines, Andrew Adjei-Yeboah yesterday told Parliament that wildfires are one of the greatest contributors to the depletion of Ghana’s forest reserve.
Responding to a question by Evans Paul Aidoo (NDC, Sefwi-Wiawso) who wanted to know the extent of depletion of Forest Reserves and to find out whether this country can boast of forest reserves by 2020 if the trend of depletion continues, he said between 2000 to 2005 the forest cover reduced from 1,738,978 ha to 1,607,705 ha.
He said, an annual deforestation rate of about 1.5%. is recorded annually adding that “This is with particular reference to timber production from permanent protection areas in forest reserves”.
According to him, wildfires, particularly in the transitional and savannah zones, have been the most important cause of deforestation and forest degradation in Ghana, responsible for an estimated annual loss of about 3% of GDP over the last fifteen years.
He however indicated that government and donor supported interventions such as Wildfire Management Project among other programmes have helped to check further deforestation to some extent.
“Recent satellite imagery, covering forest zones has revealed improved vegetation cover in the forest areas where Wildfire Projects are operational”.