The Forestry Commission is considering establishing a mining unit under the Forest Services Division.
The unit, according to stakeholders, will coordinate and provide information concerning mining in the regions.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, John Allotey, disclosed this at a meeting of regional forest and district managers in Kumasi.
Mr Allotey said the institution is spending more time, effort and logistics in curbing illegal mining compared to illegal logging.
He observes strategies used to fight illegal logging will not work for illegal mining, hence the establishment of a unit to fight the menace.
“We have to deal with people who are armed and are in a position to attack us. When the culprits are caught, as a forestry commission staff chances are that they will run away and leave the trees but illegal miners don’t, they try to fight you.
“What it means is that the strategies that we use to fight illegal logging will not work so far as illegal mining is concerned. That’s why we’re changing the strategy. We’re considering having a mining unit under the forestry services,” he revealed.
Mr Allotey advised district managers to report issues concerning illegal mining to regional managers of the Commission.
“There’s no way you’re going to say you did not see activities of illegal mining, then you’ll not be there. We’ll take you out, it means you’re not fit for purpose. District managers are supposed to see what happens in their district.
Once you’re able to sight anybody carrying out any illegal activity you have to report to your regional manager,” he advised.