The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor, says the government is committed to protecting the country’s forest resources and will continue to make efforts to ensure that they are saved from degradation.
The government has come under criticism over an Executive Instrument signed by President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to declassify parts of the Achimota forest as no longer a reserve.
Some have said the move is part of arrangements by the government to privatise the land and sell it off.
But the Minister, while debunking the assertion, says the portions that have been declassified as a reserve has been given back to the original owners.
He said the forest, in its current state has seen massive degradation and the government has instead worked tirelessly to ensure that more trees are replanted to make it worthy of being considered a forest.
“The Achimota forest as it stands today, if you take a trip there, you will find that the forest is literarily degraded and what is left of it is the shrubs and neem trees here and there. It is President Akufo-Addo who has devoted money and this ministry which is gone around to look for money and began reforesting the Achimota forest,” he said in an interview on the Citi Breakfast Show.
He said the government is hoping to plant more trees in the coming years as part of a broader afforestation drive across the country.
“We’ve planted a good number of trees now and the intention is to plant a lot more trees in the Achimota forest moving forward so that it becomes a forest properly so-called which is fit for purpose so that it can be called a forest,” he said.
Check below to listen to the full interview: