Mr Samuel K. Nketia, the Executive Director of Tropenbos International (TBI), Ghana, a Forestry sector Non-Governmental Organisation, has urged the Government to ensure an adequate supply of legal timber to the domestic market.
He said a comprehensive policy had been developed by the Forestry Commission in collaboration with the TBI to ensure the supply of legal timber to the local market.
“It is important that government fully rolls out the policy to forestall any relapse into the illegal supply regime,” he stated.
Mr Nketia was speaking at a workshop to mark the end of a project dubbed: “Supporting Intermediaries with Information and Guidance to comply with the Timber Legality Assurance System and to engage in advocacy on the Domestic Market Reforms.”
He said there was a shortfall in the supply of legal lumber to the domestic market as the formal sawmills were unable to satisfy the local demand.
Hence the need to implement the policy, he said.
He said as part of the Timber Legality Compliance and Advocacy project, actors in the Small and Medium Forest Enterprise (SMFEs) had been trained to avoid illegal timber in favour of legal ones.
He commended the European Commission for funding the project, saying that, it had helped increase the knowledge on forest governance among the SMFEs in Ghana.
Madam Barbara Serwaa Asamoah, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, commended TBI for the project, saying 80 per cent of timber being consumed in the country was produced by the SMFEs.
She said the SMFEs were partners in the forestry business and it was important that they all contributed in protecting the forest.
Madam Asamoah gave the assurance that the Government would work towards ensuring that the Policy on the adequate supply of legal timber on the local market was fully implemented to ensure enough supply.