Loggers cutting down a tree for timber. Uncontrolled and illegal felling of trees causing deforestation in Uganda. Photo by Charles Akena

The Director of Kalakpa Club, a nature, wildlife conservationist and environmental group, Horlali Haligah has revealed that the country is losing about GHc18m from the Kalakpa resource reserve due to illegal logging.

The game production and resource reserve located at Abutia, in the Adaklu Anyigbe District in the Volta Region, is a 32,000 acre game reserve.

According to Horlali Haligah, research conducted by the Ghana Wildlife Society (GWS) in collaboration with Kalakpa Youth Club and the Abutia Development Union, all Non-Governmental Organisations, established that despite a nationwide ban on the felling of rosewood since 2014, the illegality had been prevalent in the reserve in the last six years.

There was also alleged evidence of illegal settler communities, onsite sawmill operations, designated unofficial routes, a charcoal production industry, and some forestry officials involved in the illegalities among other activities that threatened flora and fauna of the reserve.

At a news conference in Accra to highlight the extent of destruction in the wildlife protected area acquired by government some 44 years ago, Director of the Kalakpa Club, Horlali Haligah noted that the direction of trade of Ghana’s rosewood in terms of value mainly pointed to China and India.

According to him, their investigation shows that about 5000 metric tones of rosewood have been transported from the reserve to neighbouring countries. He called on government and security agencies to investigate various illegal activities going on at the site.

Meanwhile, member of the Abutia Development Union, Eric Delanyo Alifo added that they are ready to take government to court if it fails to listen to their appeal.

The Communications Director of Ghana Wildlife Society, Faisal Elias, appeal to all stakeholders, especially the Forestry Commission, to ensure that the ban is made to hold.

He further asked for the passage of wildlife resource management bill into law, which would inure to the benefit of the country.

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