Mr Bernard Tabil, the Oti Regional Forestry Manager, has urged the public, especially residents of the region, to stop the indiscriminate felling of trees and protect the forests for future generations. The rate at which people invaded and degraded the forests, through illegal felling of trees, was seriously threatening the environment and vegetation, which could cause irreparable damage to health, he said.
Mr Tabil, in an interview at Nkwanta South, said charcoal production had been one of the causes of deforestation. He, however, urged the public, especially those engaged in charcoal burning and timber logging to obtain a permit from the Forestry Commission for proper guidance in order to preserve the forest for the future.
He called on chiefs and elders, opinion and political leaders to support the Commission in its endeavour to maintain the forests and prosecute offenders.
“The major challenge confronting the Forestry Commission is the interference in the prosecution of chainsaw operators and charcoal burners, who do not obtain permits before plundering the forest, making our work difficult,” Mr Tabil said. “I'm therefore pleading with them to allow the law to deal with offenders who invade the forest without obtaining a permit to serve as a deterrent to others,” he said.