Forestry Commission, police in tango over Achimota Forest (26 November 2014) Pg 46

There was a confrontation between officials of the Forestry Commission (FC) and some policemen at the Achimota Forest over the right of the commission to construct a fence to protect the forest.

The FC had begun the construction of the fence last Friday to prevent further encroachment on the reserve by an estate developer.

However, the police arrived at the site claiming they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Command to stop the project.

As of 2.15 p.m last Monday when officials of the FC led a team of journalists to the site, the policemen still insisted that the place was a ‘no go’ area for even officials of the FC.
 Rev David Kpelle (with hand stretched) with some security officers of the Forestry Commission, conducting journalists round the disputed portion of the Achimota Forest Reserve.
One of them insisted that the Accra Regional Police Commander had instructed them not to allow anybody into the area.

But the Commercial Development Manager of the FC, Rev David Kpelle, maintained that there was no need for the FC to obtain permission from the Accra Regional Police Commander in order to show reporters the boundaries of the forest.

“Allow us to perform our constitutional mandate, just as you are performing your constitutional duty,” he said.
The encounter turned into a heated debate between the police, who insisted they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Commander, and FC officials. 

Press conference
Addressing a press conference later in the day, the Chief Executive of the FC, Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, said the root of the problem was that a private estate developer, Platinum Properties, which was acting on behalf of Nii Ako Kortei, the Mankralo of Osu, had obtained judgement against the Lands Commission in respect of about 172 acres of certain portions of  Achimota School land.

He said in pursuance of the execution of the judgement, the private developer had, in July this year, encroached on part of the Achimota Forest Reserve opposite the offices of the commission near GIMPA.

The developer destroyed a portion of the forest by the Achimota-Legon road.
He said the developer was confronted and told that that portion was part of the Achimota Forest Reserve and did not constitute part of Achimota School land, for which it had the judgement.

“It, therefore, left that portion and went and cleared more land belonging to Achimota School to make up for the loss. So, in effect, it has secured the 172 acres it has wrest out of Achimota School land,” Mr Dartey said.

He said in exercising its mandate to protect the forest, the FC instituted action in court to stop the destruction of the portion of the forest by the private developer.
“We have also initiated action to erect a wall around the forest and facilitate ease of patrol by our protection staff.

“But, to our utmost surprise, the Accra Regional Police Commander, instead of assisting the FC to pursue its constitutional and legal mandate of protecting the forest reserve, which belongs to the state and the people of Ghana, has rather sent his men to prevent us from doing so, while allowing the private developer to erect a wall. This is incomprehensible,” he said.

He said similar actions by initial developers had already resulted in the loss of about 140 hectares of the original 495 hectares to urban encroachment.

“The FC has, therefore, vowed not to allow this destruction of the Achimota Forest to continue. But the commission cannot do it alone.

“We, therefore, need the support of the law enforcement agencies, landowners and the public to support us in this effort to stop the destruction of the rest of 360 hectares of the Achimota Forest,” he added.
Achimota Forest Reserve

The Achimota Forest Reserve was gazetted (as a forest reserve) in 1939 with objectives including serving as a field laboratory research for schools in Accra, providing a place for recreation, to conserve biological diversity, as well as play the ecological role of purifying the air in the city.

Currently, the forest remains the only green belt in Accra and also houses the Accra Zoo and the planned site, the Accra Eco-Park.

Apart from that, it acts as shelter for noise created by human activities in the city to provide a serene environment in the city.

However, years of unbridled encroachment has reduced the size of the forest.
There was a confrontation between officials of the Forestry Commission (FC) and some policemen at the Achimota Forest over the right of the commission to construct a fence to protect the forest.
The FC had begun the construction of the fence last Friday to prevent further encroachment on the reserve by an estate developer.
However, the police arrived at the site claiming they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Command to stop the project.
As of 2.15 p.m last Monday when officials of the FC led a team of journalists to the site, the policemen still insisted that the place was a ‘no go’ area for even officials of the FC.
One of them insisted that the Accra Regional Police Commander had instructed them not to allow anybody into the area.
But the Commercial Development Manager of the FC, Rev David Kpelle, maintained that there was no need for the FC to obtain permission from the Accra Regional Police Commander in order to show reporters the boundaries of the forest.
“Allow us to perform our constitutional mandate, just as you are performing your constitutional duty,” he said.
The encounter turned into a heated debate between the police, who insisted they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Commander, and FC officials.

Press conference

Addressing a press conference later in the day, the Chief Executive of the FC, Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, said the root of the problem was that a private estate developer, Platinum Properties, which was acting on behalf of Nii Ako Kortei, the Mankralo of Osu, had obtained judgement against the Lands Commission in respect of about 172 acres of certain portions of  Achimota School land.
He said in pursuance of the execution of the judgement, the private developer had, in July this year, encroached on part of the Achimota Forest Reserve opposite the offices of the commission near GIMPA.
The developer destroyed a portion of the forest by the Achimota-Legon road.
He said the developer was confronted and told that that portion was part of the Achimota Forest Reserve and did not constitute part of Achimota School land, for which it had the judgement.
“It, therefore, left that portion and went and cleared more land belonging to Achimota School to make up for the loss. So, in effect, it has secured the 172 acres it has wrest out of Achimota School land,” Mr Dartey said.
He said in exercising its mandate to protect the forest, the FC instituted action in court to stop the destruction of the portion of the forest by the private developer.
“We have also initiated action to erect a wall around the forest and facilitate ease of patrol by our protection staff.
“But, to our utmost surprise, the Accra Regional Police Commander, instead of assisting the FC to pursue its constitutional and legal mandate of protecting the forest reserve, which belongs to the state and the people of Ghana, has rather sent his men to prevent us from doing so, while allowing the private developer to erect a wall. This is incomprehensible,” he said.
He said similar actions by initial developers had already resulted in the loss of about 140 hectares of the original 495 hectares to urban encroachment.
“The FC has, therefore, vowed not to allow this destruction of the Achimota Forest to continue. But the commission cannot do it alone.
“We, therefore, need the support of the law enforcement agencies, landowners and the public to support us in this effort to stop the destruction of the rest of 360 hectares of the Achimota Forest,” he added.

Achimota Forest Reserve

The Achimota Forest Reserve was gazetted (as a forest reserve) in 1939 with objectives including serving as a field laboratory research for schools in Accra, providing a place for recreation, to conserve biological diversity, as well as play the ecological role of purifying the air in the city.
Currently, the forest remains the only green belt in Accra and also houses the Accra Zoo and the planned site, the Accra Eco-Park.
Apart from that, it acts as shelter for noise created by human activities in the city to provide a serene environment in the city.
However, years of unbridled encroachment has reduced the size of the forest.
- See more at: http://graphic.com.gh/news/general-news/34351-forestry-commission-police-in-tango-over-achimota-forest.html#sthash.WKC7o4uf.dpuf
There was a confrontation between officials of the Forestry Commission (FC) and some policemen at the Achimota Forest over the right of the commission to construct a fence to protect the forest.
The FC had begun the construction of the fence last Friday to prevent further encroachment on the reserve by an estate developer.
However, the police arrived at the site claiming they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Command to stop the project.
As of 2.15 p.m last Monday when officials of the FC led a team of journalists to the site, the policemen still insisted that the place was a ‘no go’ area for even officials of the FC.
One of them insisted that the Accra Regional Police Commander had instructed them not to allow anybody into the area.
But the Commercial Development Manager of the FC, Rev David Kpelle, maintained that there was no need for the FC to obtain permission from the Accra Regional Police Commander in order to show reporters the boundaries of the forest.
“Allow us to perform our constitutional mandate, just as you are performing your constitutional duty,” he said.
The encounter turned into a heated debate between the police, who insisted they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Commander, and FC officials. 
Press conference
Addressing a press conference later in the day, the Chief Executive of the FC, Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, said the root of the problem was that a private estate developer, Platinum Properties, which was acting on behalf of Nii Ako Kortei, the Mankralo of Osu, had obtained judgement against the Lands Commission in respect of about 172 acres of certain portions of  Achimota School land.
He said in pursuance of the execution of the judgement, the private developer had, in July this year, encroached on part of the Achimota Forest Reserve opposite the offices of the commission near GIMPA.
The developer destroyed a portion of the forest by the Achimota-Legon road.
He said the developer was confronted and told that that portion was part of the Achimota Forest Reserve and did not constitute part of Achimota School land, for which it had the judgement.
“It, therefore, left that portion and went and cleared more land belonging to Achimota School to make up for the loss. So, in effect, it has secured the 172 acres it has wrest out of Achimota School land,” Mr Dartey said.
He said in exercising its mandate to protect the forest, the FC instituted action in court to stop the destruction of the portion of the forest by the private developer.
“We have also initiated action to erect a wall around the forest and facilitate ease of patrol by our protection staff.
“But, to our utmost surprise, the Accra Regional Police Commander, instead of assisting the FC to pursue its constitutional and legal mandate of protecting the forest reserve, which belongs to the state and the people of Ghana, has rather sent his men to prevent us from doing so, while allowing the private developer to erect a wall. This is incomprehensible,” he said.
He said similar actions by initial developers had already resulted in the loss of about 140 hectares of the original 495 hectares to urban encroachment.
“The FC has, therefore, vowed not to allow this destruction of the Achimota Forest to continue. But the commission cannot do it alone.
“We, therefore, need the support of the law enforcement agencies, landowners and the public to support us in this effort to stop the destruction of the rest of 360 hectares of the Achimota Forest,” he added.
Achimota Forest Reserve
The Achimota Forest Reserve was gazetted (as a forest reserve) in 1939 with objectives including serving as a field laboratory research for schools in Accra, providing a place for recreation, to conserve biological diversity, as well as play the ecological role of purifying the air in the city.
Currently, the forest remains the only green belt in Accra and also houses the Accra Zoo and the planned site, the Accra Eco-Park.
Apart from that, it acts as shelter for noise created by human activities in the city to provide a serene environment in the city.
However, years of unbridled encroachment has reduced the size of the forest.
There was a confrontation between officials of the Forestry Commission (FC) and some policemen at the Achimota Forest over the right of the commission to construct a fence to protect the forest.
The FC had begun the construction of the fence last Friday to prevent further encroachment on the reserve by an estate developer.
However, the police arrived at the site claiming they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Command to stop the project.
As of 2.15 p.m last Monday when officials of the FC led a team of journalists to the site, the policemen still insisted that the place was a ‘no go’ area for even officials of the FC.
One of them insisted that the Accra Regional Police Commander had instructed them not to allow anybody into the area.
But the Commercial Development Manager of the FC, Rev David Kpelle, maintained that there was no need for the FC to obtain permission from the Accra Regional Police Commander in order to show reporters the boundaries of the forest.
“Allow us to perform our constitutional mandate, just as you are performing your constitutional duty,” he said.
The encounter turned into a heated debate between the police, who insisted they were acting on the orders of the Accra Regional Police Commander, and FC officials. 
Press conference
Addressing a press conference later in the day, the Chief Executive of the FC, Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, said the root of the problem was that a private estate developer, Platinum Properties, which was acting on behalf of Nii Ako Kortei, the Mankralo of Osu, had obtained judgement against the Lands Commission in respect of about 172 acres of certain portions of  Achimota School land.
He said in pursuance of the execution of the judgement, the private developer had, in July this year, encroached on part of the Achimota Forest Reserve opposite the offices of the commission near GIMPA.
The developer destroyed a portion of the forest by the Achimota-Legon road.
He said the developer was confronted and told that that portion was part of the Achimota Forest Reserve and did not constitute part of Achimota School land, for which it had the judgement.
“It, therefore, left that portion and went and cleared more land belonging to Achimota School to make up for the loss. So, in effect, it has secured the 172 acres it has wrest out of Achimota School land,” Mr Dartey said.
He said in exercising its mandate to protect the forest, the FC instituted action in court to stop the destruction of the portion of the forest by the private developer.
“We have also initiated action to erect a wall around the forest and facilitate ease of patrol by our protection staff.
“But, to our utmost surprise, the Accra Regional Police Commander, instead of assisting the FC to pursue its constitutional and legal mandate of protecting the forest reserve, which belongs to the state and the people of Ghana, has rather sent his men to prevent us from doing so, while allowing the private developer to erect a wall. This is incomprehensible,” he said.
He said similar actions by initial developers had already resulted in the loss of about 140 hectares of the original 495 hectares to urban encroachment.
“The FC has, therefore, vowed not to allow this destruction of the Achimota Forest to continue. But the commission cannot do it alone.
“We, therefore, need the support of the law enforcement agencies, landowners and the public to support us in this effort to stop the destruction of the rest of 360 hectares of the Achimota Forest,” he added.
Achimota Forest Reserve
The Achimota Forest Reserve was gazetted (as a forest reserve) in 1939 with objectives including serving as a field laboratory research for schools in Accra, providing a place for recreation, to conserve biological diversity, as well as play the ecological role of purifying the air in the city.
Currently, the forest remains the only green belt in Accra and also houses the Accra Zoo and the planned site, the Accra Eco-Park.
Apart from that, it acts as shelter for noise created by human activities in the city to provide a serene environment in the city.
However, years of unbridled encroachment has reduced the size of the forest.

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