Over 60% of local market timber is illegal – Forestry Commission

Over 60 per cent of all timber products available on the domestic market is illegal, causing a lot of loss of revenue to the State, Mr David Kpelle of the Forestry Commission (FC) said in Accra on Thursday.

He said these timber products were mainly brought to the market by chain-saw operators who do not follow laid-down procedures nor paid any form of royalties.

Mr Kpelle disclosed this at a stakeholder’s workshop on Environmental Sustainability and Policy for Cocoa Production attended by stakeholders in the cocoa industry.

He said though the annual allowable cut of timber was two million cubic metres presently, four million cubic metres were being cut creating over harvesting.

Mr Kpelle indicated that the situation needed to be curtailed since it could affect “our export market should it be detected at the international level in the face of finding global solution to deforestation”.

He said though the FC had put up measures like setting up a task force to monitor and arrest culprits, they could not perform effectively since they were understaffed.

The situation, Mr Kpelle said was more compounded since the task force was only mandated to arrest offenders only on the road (transit point) but not on the market where they sell the timber.

He therefore urged the authorities to join forces to arrest the situation.

Source: GNA

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