Tropenbos Ghana, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) has urged the government to as a matter of urgency listen and adhere to calls for the repeal of the Environmental Protection Regulation, LI 2462. In a statement to mark International Day of Forests on Thursday, the NGO noted that, the L.I. in its current form and intent means no forest reserve in Ghana is exempted from mining if deemed to be in the interest of the state as determined by the President. This, the statement said, implies that even Ghana’s most sensitive forest areas protected by Acts of parliament and international conventions that Ghana has signed on to can no longer be deemed secure. “We also demand the immediate reversal of the directive from the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Samuel Abu Jinapor to the Forestry Commission to grant a permit to timber harvesting companies to log in Globally Significant Biodiversity Areas (GSBAs). These forest reserves host endangered species and as such, must be protected”, it said. On Achimota Forest, the statement urged the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources (MLNR) to be transparent, and accountable to Ghanaians on degazetted portions of the forest reserve. It observed that, since the degazetting, there has been limited public engagement on actions that are being taken to ensure the sustainable management of the forest and the MLNR must make public the procedure for degazetting portions of the forest, allocations that are being or will be made, beneficiaries, management, and investment practices, particularly concerning the surrounding ecosystem. “The president upon receipt, should as a matter of urgency give assent to the Wildlife Resources Management Bill which among other things consolidates laws related to wildlife and protected areas. Passed by Parliament on July 28, 2023, the bill is yet to have Presidential assent; delaying its enforcement. This holds the potential to cause no action on key regulatory propositions and interventions that are outlined in the bill. It is therefore important for parliament to expedite action on all processes that are needed to be undertaken before submission to the office of the president for his assent”, the statement said. Tropenbos Ghana also urged the MLNR and the Forestry Commission to collaborate with internet service providers such as the Center for Remote Sensing and Geographic Information to improve the adoption of technology and to deploy secured platforms for effective monitoring and management of forests and tree resources across scales. According to the statement, it is important that the MLNR undertake a comprehensive assessment of tree performance under the Green Ghana Day initiative. This it said, can be done by engaging an independent entity to undertake the assessment and proffer solutions for not only improving the initiative but also sustaining the same to increase tree cover across the county. “As we mark the International Day of Forests, Tropenbos Ghana draws attention and demands immediate action from responsible entities on major forest sector developments that are detrimental to the collective actions on innovative solutions to sustainable forest management in Ghana”, the statement added.