Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister, has expressed concern about the gradual transformation of the region into a savannah zone because of the persistent illegal logging of timber from the region’s forest reserves.
According to her, the once flourishing forest belt of the Bono Region boasted of the fertile farmlands that produced abundant food supplies for both local consumption and export, but the destructive activities taking place within the forests had caused significant depletion.
Madam Owusu-Banahene was speaking at a press briefing held to address the seizure of 21 vehicles transporting illegal lumber from various forest reserves in the region.
The operation was a joint effort between the Bono Regional Forestry Commission (FC) and its Headquarters in Accra.
Emphasizing the importance of the forest, she said the forest not only served as a vital tourist attraction because of its unique trees and diverse animal species but also played a crucial role in maintaining the habitat of those animals.
The continuous depletion of the forests, Madam Owusu-Banahene added would inevitably lead to the loss of those precious creatures, ultimately diminishing the essence of the forest and therefore depriving the country of potential revenue from its natural resources.
Furthermore, Madam Owusu-Banahene stressed the threat posed to herbal medicines and other valuable byproducts derived from the forest, saying the relentless illegal logging activities were destroying the very trees that could have provided medicinal remedies for those in need.
She emphasized the immense value of forest reserves in ensuring the survival of humanity in various ways and warned the constant destruction of lumber would eventually lead to a shortage of trees capable of producing oxygen for human survival.
Mad. Owusu-Banahene urged the public to actively oppose any illegal activities taking place within forest reserves, as their protection and preservation were crucial for national progress and the well-being of future generations.
She advised individuals aspiring to work in the timber industry to obtain the necessary documentation and secure the appropriate concessions to operate legally, saying by doing so they would avoid any conflict with the government and fulfill their tax obligations to contribute to the nation’s development.