Forest Services Division (FSD)
The Forest Services Division (FSD) is a division under the Forestry Commission. They support the Commission in the preservation and management of forest reserves in Ghana.
|Contributor||Prince James Quarcoo|
According to Tropenbos International, forest reserves were created under the 1908 Forest Policy of the country to ensure
(a) the preservation of a sufficient area of forested land to protect water supply; and (b) the preservation of the climate of humid forest type which was essential for the growth of major cash crops such as cocoa and cola.
At the district level, a District Forest Manager is responsible for the management of forest reserves. The District Manager is supported by an Assistant District Forest Manager, Forest Officer and a Customer Relations Officer. Unlike the Wildlife Division where the Park Manager is responsible for one protected area, the Forest Officer may be in charge of the protection and utilization of forest resources in several forest reserves, while the Customer Officer handles the liaison with people who are interested in forest resources utilization. Range Supervisors report to the Forest Officer and they are responsible for the protection and management of a number of forest blocks. They supervise the work of unarmed Forest Guards who are responsible for ensuring that the forest boundaries are well maintained. There is inadequate staffing strength for the protection of the biological resources, research, planning, monitoring and evaluation.
Furthermore there is a lack of staff dedication to research and planning as well as monitoring and evaluation. The necessary research data should be gathered and analysed for the development of the appropriate management strategies to ensure the sustainable use of the biological resources in forest reserves.
The following capacity building needs of FSD have been identified.
(a) Strengthening the capacity for forest protection;
(b) Enhancing capacity for research and planning, particularly stock assessments and adaptive research (e.g. determination of annual allowable cuts and the use of permanent sample plots). This should include enhancement of technology transfer and the use of other scientific equipment and tools to support data collection, analysis and application. Particular attention should be given to capacity building for valuation of ecosystem services, carbon stock assessment and marketing strategies;
(c) Development of adequate capacity for effective monitoring and evaluation as well as the enhancement of the use of appropriate technology;
(d) Development of appropriate capacity for integrating biodiversity consideration into national development and other sectoral plans;
(e) Development of appropriate protection and management capacity to enable the GSBAs in Ghana function effectively;
(f) Enhancing the capacity for species identification and inventory i.e. taxonomy.