Shea Network Ghana (SNG) a local NGO has called for an amendment of the Forestry Commission Act 1999 (571) to curtail the destruction of non timber forest resources.

SNG believes that non inclusion of non-timber forest resources in the Act is destroying non timber resources but economic tress (such as shea, dawadawa and baobab) and “threatens livelihood of many and impact climate change”.

 Shea Network Ghana says its recent study, which sought to find the effectiveness of the Forestry Commission Act, revealed that the Act only establishes the Forestry Commission as a corporate body with the following functions: to regulate the utilization of forest and timber resources, to manage forest reserves and protected areas, to assist the private sector to implement the Forest and Wildlife Policy and to undertake the development of plantations.

“It failed to make specific provision that mandate the Forestry Commission to protect, conserve and manage the shea trees and other non-forest economic trees in the North despite providing a subtle room for shea protection”, said a release signed by SNG National Coordinator, Zakaria Iddi.

The study, according to the release, also revealed that several operational Manuals and Acts have been developed for tree protection but all these efforts are uncoordinated requiring a well-established law for shea protection especially in the face of the non-existence of by-laws at the Districts Assembly level.

SNG said the lack of inclusion of non timber forest resources by the Forestry Commission Act has the potential of depriving the livelihood of “thousands of residents within the three northern and parts of the Brong Ahafo and Volta regions” and the threaten tree survival of the wild.

According to SNG, the study was funded by the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund.