From News Desk

The 2020 edition of the Annual Operation Halt 1 Review Conference, convened with the aim of deliberating on issues affecting the forest reserves of Ghana and to devise strategies to protect the existing forest reserves from further degradation, has been held at the Kpeshie Barracks, home of Headquarters Southern Command (S/COMD) of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF).

The conference, held at Teshie, on Wednesday 23, September 2020, was also used to discuss revenues collected and budgetary constraints in the year under review and to find ways to sustain the operation.

The Central, Eastern, Oti, Volta, Western, Western North Regional Managers of the Forestry Commission, were also present at the event to shed a light on activities in their various jurisdictions.

The Command Operations Officer (COO) of Headquarters S/COMD, Colonel (Col) Albert Assiamah, in a remark, stressed the need to establish close collaboration between stakeholders in the forestry services sector, to help eradicate the various problems it faces, in order for the country to benefit from her forest resources.

Col Assiamah indicated that GAF would never relent on its duty to help safeguard national property; therefore, it would continue to contribute, whenever it was called upon, to support the Forestry Commission through Operation Halt 1 – which aims at fighting against illegal mining, chain-sawing and logging in the forest reserves.

The Director of Operations at the Forestry Services Division (FSD) of the Forestry Commission – Mrs Edith Abruquah, for her part, acknowledged that the intervention of Operation Halt 1, had effectively saved a lot of forest resources from wanton destruction, by recalcitrant individuals and groups, who perpetrate illegalities in the forests, on the blind side of Forestry guards.

Mrs Abruquah directed the Operation Halt 1 Task Force, to adopt a proactive approach by deploying into the forests, to ward off perpetrators, rather than arresting logs of chain-sawed wood, hence eliminating the offence before it happens.

Mrs Abruquah encouraged positive collaboration, in the form of joint training exercises to keep troops from both the military and the FSD at par, to ensure smooth operations and further urged the national monitoring teams, to collaborate with the regional and district monitoring teams, to ensure positive progress.

Commanding Officers (COs) from One, Two and Five Battalions of Infantry (1Bn, 2Bn and 5Bn), 64 Infantry and 66 Artillery Regiments, were present at the conference, together with some stakeholders in Forestry Services.

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