Tropenbos implements project to support legal lumber

TimberTropenbos International (TBI) Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, has implemented an European Union-funded project to support the integration of legal and legitimate domestic lumber markets into the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA).

The project, which took place from 2011 to 2015, aimed to secure the supply of legal lumber to the domestic market in support of Ghana’s Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT).

Mr Tabi Agyarko, Principal Planning Officer at the Technical Directorate of the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources, speaking at the final workshop for the project, commended the organisation and its partners for a good work done in developing the concept of artisanal milling.

He commended them for their excellent collaboration with the Ministry to develop a draft policy to guide legal lumber for local use.

He said government, through the Forestry Commission, had been working closely with TBI Ghana and its partners to address the problem of illegal lumber supply to the domestic market.

Mr Agyarko said government was happy about EU support in carrying out some legislative reforms and also to put in place systems and processes that would make it possible for Ghana to produce and trade in only legal timber.

He expressed the hope that management of the project had placed the necessary measures and structures to ensure that the multi stakeholder platform established under the programme continued.

Mr Agyarko said the Ministry was committed to the process and had therefore donated two artisanal mills for the piloting of the concept.

On the outcomes and inputs of the project, he said government would study them and take the necessary steps to implement the recommendations and lessons learnt.

Mr Sam Nketiah, the Programme Director of TBI Ghana, said the project was a precursor to an earlier one conducted from 2007 to 2011 between Ghana and Guyana.

He said the specific objectives of the 2011to 2015 project were how domestic market issues could be effectively incorporated into VPAs of Guyana and other countries through Ghana’s FLEGT.

Mr Nketiah said the project which was implemented in 10 forest districts including Akyem Oda, Begoro, Kade, Juaso, Goaso, Sunyani, Nkwanta and Tarkwa, had yielded tremendous results, which had impacted positively on the country’s forest governance.

Source: GNA

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