Natural Resources and the availability of Land for development are keys to social, economic, cultural, ecological and environmental uplifting of our dear country, Ghana. Forestry, wildlife and mining sectors account for about 15% of Ghana's Gross Domestic Products (GDP), 25% of government revenues and 60% of foreign exchange. These impressive yearly contributions of these sectors are under unrelenting threats from illegal chainsaw lumbering, illegal mining (galamsey) and general insecurity in landowning. Desecration of these natural endowments cost the nation at least, 10% per year of Ghana's GDP.
Statistics have it that the forest cover of Ghana was about 8.2 million hectares by the turn of the 18th century but has reduced to about 1.2 million hectares. The rate of deforestation of about 65,000 hectares annually could eventually make Ghana a net importer of wood if we do not take urgent measures not only to arrest and reverse the situation but also to take steps to increase the national forest coverage. It is in the light of this stark reality that the launch of expanded National Forest Plantation Development Programme (NFPDP) recently at Abofoo in the Offinso District of the Ashanti Region is a critical intervention in our forest resource base resuscitation ambitions.