The Centre for Environmental Protection and Natural Resource (CEPNR), an environmental, non-governmental organisation, at the weekend commended the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources for the temporary ban on the exportation of Rosewood and Teak.
The Ministry has indicated that large quantities of the product are being exported illegally to Asia and other destinations, hence the need to carry out verification of all export documents of timber products before shipment.
To control the illicit trade the Ministry has constituted a 12-member taskforce to facilitate the verification process.
A statement issued by CEPNR and signed by Mrs Bernice Welbeck, Executive Director of the organisation welcomed the move saying some bad nuts in the timber industry are denting the image of the business, hence the need for urgent measures to streamline the way of doing things.
An investigation conducted by CEPNR alleged that some of the threats facing the country’s forest resources are artificially created by some public officials who are illegally aiding the degradation of the environment for their personal interests.
Some exporters who have no concessions are exporting wood thus depriving the State of huge revenue through their illegal activities.
The statement said the country’s forests are being destroyed by illegal Chinese miners whilst other foreign nationals including Indians are engaged in illicit lumbering.
CEPNR is therefore going to team up with stakeholders including the public against illegal exportation of wood.
The statement called on the citizenry especially timber merchants to support the Ministry to flush out corrupt timber exporters whose illicit activities affects the State adversely, adding “the protection of the environment is the responsibility of Ghanaians.
CEPNR is a body that collates and gathers information on issues affecting the environment and is teaming up with stakeholders to support government’s effort to fight against acts that undermine the environment.
The aims and objectives of the Centre is to advocate the protection of the environment and natural resources, partner organisations to campaign against the degradation of the environment and offer support in reclaiming degraded lands.
CEPNR encourages the planting of trees to protect the environment, sensitise the citizens on environmental issues and assist in the protection of river bodies.
It also aims at fumigating communities affected by outbreak of malaria and other communicable diseases as well as environmental and health challenges and ensure clean and healthy environment.