Ghana's forest resource is said to be in danger as some of the country's forest plantations are plagued by diseases and pests.
The diseases and pests some of which are yet to be identified by forestry research scientists and experts are attacking trees at a faster rate on affected plantations.
Victor Agyeman, Director of the Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), who made this known, said the situation was worrying since the country had invested huge sums of money in developing forest plantations.
He was speaking at the opening of the Second Executive Committee workshop of the Forest Invasive Species Network for Africa (FINSA), in Kumasi on Monday.
Agyeman also cited the invasion of Eucalytus gall in the Eastern Africa Region, the sirex wasp in the Southern Africa Region and more recently, the outbreak of the Acheae Catocaloides Caterpillars and moth in Liberia and other West African countries.
He urged African governments to adequately resource forest research institutions to enable them manage pest and disease incursions to secure investments in the forest sector.
Agyeman expressed dissatisfaction about the problem of alien invasive species in Africa and the world as a whole and attributed it to globalization and increased international trade.
He mentioned invasive plants such as Siam weed or 'Acheampong' (Chromolaena Odorata), Prosopis (Prosopis spp) and paper mulberry 'yorke' (Broussonetia papyrifera) which have already had significant ecological and socio-economic impacts in many African countries.
Agyeman commended members of FINSA for their vision to form the network to collectively tackle invasive species problems on the African continent and urged them to work across national and regional boundaries since the disease and pests do not recognize national boundaries.
Paulos Nwale, Chairman of FINSA, said networking was very important in view of the increasing invasion of alien species on the African continent.
He called for effective commitment on the part of African governments to sustain the network in order to fight the invasion on forest reserves.
Paul Bosu, Entomologist and Forest Health Research Scientist of FORIG, who is the Country Co-ordinator, mentioned the Kwamensa Forest Reserve near Bechem in the Brong Ahafo region, as among many others which had been severely invaded by alien species, pests and diseases.
He said some of the pests were yet to be identified and called on government to commit more resources into research and integrated pest management programmes in Ghana.
Bosu said FORIG had experts who were currently working but needed further assistance to do more.
The FINSA is a network of African forest protection scientists and experts who are concerned with increasing problems of invasion of forest plantations by insects and diseases.
It aims at coordinating the collation and dissemination of information relating to forest invasive species in sub-Saharan Africa for sustainable forest management and conservation of biodiversity.
Participants from Kenya, Malawi, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Togo, Zimbabwe, Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) and the Africa Forest Research Network, anon-governmental organisation (NGO), are attending the five days workshop.