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Regional News Thu, 11 Mar 2004

Community leaders advised to stop illegal timber activities

Mankranso (Ash), March 11, GNA- Police Chief Superintendent Joseph Opoku, Tepa District Police Commander, has told Community leaders to help clamp down on illegal timber operations in their areas.

He said the rate at which the country was losing its forest was disturbing and that all should join hands to save the situation.

Police Chief Superintendent Opoku was addressing a forum on the forest held in the Ahafo-Ano South District at Mankranso on Wednesday. It aimed at discussing effective ways of protecting the area's forests and their resources from continued destruction.

The Police Commander described as regrettable a situation where some chiefs, land owners and assembly members collude with chainsaw operators and other illegal timber men to plunder the forest. He noted that those, who carry out the illegal timber activities are assisted by people in the area.

Police Chief Superintendent Opoku said if the fight to stop the illegal timber activities was to become successful, it was important that people living close to the forests changed their attitude. Mrs Mercy Derkyi, an official of the Forestry Commission in Kumasi, told the people that they owed it a duty to themselves and posterity to preserve and maintain the forest.

Source: GNA