The Forestry Commission is set to give more priority to certain areas of its operations as part of efforts to revamp its mandate in 2022.
The Commission has thus outlined 17 operational priorities.
The 17 areas have been identified as focus areas to achieve the Forestry Commission’s aims and objectives.
Among the operational priorities is a four-year corporate strategic plan to enable the realization of the vision of the Commission.
Additionally, a number of project activities have been approved for implementation by the Commission by end of 2023.
The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), John Allotey, made these announcements at the Forestry Commission’s end-of-year media briefing on December 23, 2021.
Below are the Operational Priorities
1. Launching the 2021-2025 Corporate Strategic Plan.
2. Strengthening institutional and regulatory frameworks for sustainable forest and wildlife resources management.
3. Enhancing law enforcement within forest reserves and wildlife protected areas.
4. Implementing the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy through establishing and maintaining forest plantations.
5. Promoting timber industry, trade development and technology transfer.
6. Encouraging community participation in forest and wildlife resource management.
7. Developing and implementing Integrated Forest Reserves & Protected Areas Management Plans.
8. Providing reliable and innovative ICT solutions by leveraging emerging technologies to enhance and create value for the Commission.
9. Succession planning and talent management which involves attracting and retaining high-quality employees, developing their skills, and continuously motivating them to improve their performance.
10. Developing a legal framework for forest plantation development to create a secure enabling environment that could catalyse investment of the much-needed private funds for forest plantation establishment in Ghana.
11. Reviewing the Commission’s operational procedures and guidelines governing plantation timber harvesting to enable it to efficiently handle the huge volumes that will be extracted from these plantations.
12. Initiating processes towards the drafting and promulgation of the Forest Plantations Act. The Act will provide a solid legal basis for the regulation and development of forest plantations in Ghana.
13. Providing adequate resources to Forest Services Division and Resource Management Support Centre to scale up research and field trials on fast-growing tree species, planting of indigenous tree species and incorporation of shade-loving non-timber forest products and crops within forest plantations.
14. Undertaking a nationwide inventory of forest plantations to provide comprehensive information on the growth rate, survival, current and projected yield, and carbon sequestration of the established forest plantations.
15. Operating three (3) mini-camps at Mfanti, Kasapin and Diabaakrom to mitigate the upsurge of illegal logging and lumbering in the Ahafo, Bono and Western North regions.
16. Introducing a certificate programme in Forestry and Wildlife for Senior High School graduates at the Forestry Commission Training Centre to ensure a steady supply of well-trained field staff for operations at the various Divisions and Units of the Commission. This is a crucial step in addressing the fast-increasing operational technical staff deficiency.
17. Proposal for the gazettement of 21 forest reserves will be pursued.
The following are the project activities approved for implementation:
1. Consultancy for the Provision of Architectural Design Services for Shai Hills Resource Reserve (SHRR), Kakum National Park and Mole National Park; and the Provision of Post Contract Management Services for the designed facilities.
2. Re-design and construction supervision of ecotourism intervention at Ankasa Conservation Area, Accra and Kumasi Zoos.
3. Construction and furnishing of the receptive facility including audio-visual room & washrooms at Accra and Kumasi Zoos.
4. Rehabilitation and expansion of animal cages at the Zoos.
5. Procurement of Safari Vehicles for Shai Hills Resource Reserve.
6. Construction of culverts, drain/ditches and approaches at critical stream crossing points along tour routes in Ankasa Conservation Area.