Organisation calls for review of Ghana rosewood ban

TimberThe Bureau for Internal Affairs (BIA), an anti-graft organisation, has asked the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources to review the ban on the harvesting of rosewood.

BIA said although the Forestry Commission granted permit to some companies to evacuate the balance of logs lying in some permit areas, the ministry came out with a news item emphasising that the ban on rosewood was still in force.

The news item on July 16, 2014, which was attributed to the then Minister; Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, reminded the public especially dealers in the product that the ban on the harvesting, transportation, processing, export or sale of rosewood in any way form was still in force.

The news said the measure was instituted to curtail the practice of illegal harvesting of rosewood, which were transported to neighbouring countries and brought back into the country as transit timber.

A statement issued by Mr Godfred Nkrumah, National Co-ordinating Director of BIA in Accra at the weekend, said the ban had affected the livelihood of a number of dealers whose huge investments had gone waste.

The bureau mentioned Messrs Time Concepts Ghana Limited, which was asked to salvage rosewood log/billets in the Damongo, Bole and Yendi Districts in the Northern Region, to prevent them from being destroyed by wildfire.

However, the operation was suspended by the commission on June 9, 2014, due to some allegations against it.

On July 9, 2014, the company received an authorisation for the evaluation of the balance of logs left lying in the permit area by the commission, but as the business entity was preparing for the exercise, the ban was announced.

BIA said the premature ban had caused a number of companies to go bankrupt, which it viewed as not only unfair to indigenous businesses, but had led to financial loss to the state.

“We are therefore appealing to the government, the ministry, the commission and other stakeholders to lift the ban immediately,” the statement said.

Source: GNA

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