By: Fred Yaw Sarpong- Daily Express
A report on the Ghana Forest Plantation Strategy (GFPS) has revealed that an estimated average annual rate of 25,000 ha of forest plantations will be established between 2016 and 2040.
This includes 10,000 ha by public sector, public-private partnerships, public–community collaborations; and 15,000 ha by the private sector.
The report which is available to the public stated that it is expected that an annual average area of 5,000 ha of under-stocked and degraded forest reserves and community forests will be enriched using high value indigenous tree species over a 20-year period.
“An estimated 5 million forest tree seedlings will be provided annually to farmers across the country to incorporate within farming systems (especially cocoa and food crop farms),” the report noted.
According to the report, over the strategy period, an estimated 150,000 ha of farms will be targeted annually. “Additionally, the strategy targets the maintenance and rehabilitation of an estimated 235,000 ha of existing forest plantations,” it added.
It also identifies challenges to past efforts and consequently outlines the strategic direction, actions and resources required to promote the development of productive and sustainable forest plantations.
It indicates the technical and financial resources required and performance measures necessary to track progress over the period (2016 to 2040).
The report mentioned that the proposed interventions are expected to support the development of a sustainable forest resource base that will satisfy future demand for industrial timber and enhance environmental quality.
“These interventions are expected to relieve the pressure on the existing natural forests, enhance connectivity between the agricultural and forest landscapes to promote biodiversity conservation, manage barriers to forest plantation investments, while providing optimum income generation opportunities for forest plantation owners, the timber industry, forest-fringe communities and the national economy,” said the report.
Daily Express learnt that this report outlines plans by the government, private sector and rural communities to restore degraded landscapes through the development of commercial forest plantations, smallholder plantations, enrichment planting of degraded forests and to provide support for the incorporation of trees within farming systems.