The European Union, EU, is funding a project in Ghana dubbed Civil-Society-Led Independent Forest Monitoring, to save the country’s forest resources and cater for communities affected by deforestation.
The project entails the creation of a digital platform that collates information of illegal forestry practices in communities and processing the information for legal action to be taken against the perpetrators while victims of the illegal activities are compensated.
The project is being carried out mainly from the perspective of Civil Society Groups and the local people in forest communities.
The EU is funding the Civil Society-led Independent Forest Monitoring project( CSIFM), with 3 million pounds and the same is being done in Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire.
The project seeks to monitor, advocate and engage non-state actors including civil society groups and people at the grassroot in forest communities in the fight to safeguard the country’s forest resources and improve the lives of those living in these communities.
The Project has a digital platform which collates reports and information from monitoring officers in selected forest reserved communities about deforestation practices and illegal farming acts such as illegal logging, bush burning and illegal mining in forest reserves.
These reports or information are processed and verified for the necessary actions to be taken against perpetrators, while affected community members are compensated.
The National Project Coordinator of CSIFM, Daniel Kofi Abu said since the project started in 2017, they have collated about one thousand illegal cases leading to prosecution and also the compensation of victims.
A representative from the Ministry Forestry and Natural Resources, Abu Juam said this initiative is a laudable one and government is ever prepared to assist in anyway possible in apprehending perpetrators of illegal forestry activities.
The launch brought together various environmental and agric-based NGOs, chiefs from selected forest communities and representatives from the Forestry Commission.