The Commission in a press release said its officials on January 30, 2023, identified a mining operation outside the Forest Reserve, which has affected a portion of the Forest Reserve.
"Following reports of alleged illegal mining activities in the Atewa Forest Reserve, in the Eastern Region, today, 30th January, 2023, the Forestry Commission immediately deployed officials to comb the Forest to ascertain the veracity or otherwise of the reports," the release said.
"After thoroughly combing the Forest, officials identified a mining operation outside the Forest Reserve, which has affected a portion of the Forest Reserve, measuring approximately zero point six hectares (0.6ha). No person was found at this portion of the Forest Reserve. The Commission, however, found some equipment, including an excavator, in this part of the Forest Reserve.
"The Commission has demobilised all equipment found in the Forest Reserve. The Commission is working with Operation Halt II to ensure no illegal mining activity takes place in the Forest Reserve. In the meantime, the Commission will take the necessary steps to reclaim the portion of the Forest Reserve which was affected by this illegal activity".
The Commission said it had already reported the incident at the Kyebi District Police Station and will work with the Police and other law enforcement agencies to find the perpetrators and take the necessary action against them.
The Commission also assured the general public of its continuous commitment to working with all stakeholders to protect all Forest Reserves in the country.