Director of Operations and Acting Executive Director of the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission (FC), Dr. Nurudeen Iddrsu, is calling for a strong collaboration between the key actors in the export and domestic markets to ensure the sustainability of Ghana’s forests.
Speaking at an Inception Workshop on the project, “Preparing Domestic Market Players Towards FLEGT Licensing”, in Accra, Dr. Iddrisu stated that, the partnership between the two segments of the timber industry would lead to a constant supply of wood for domestic use.
To this effect, he disclosed that the Forestry Commission is implementing a 100% Yield Removal Policy that mandates Concessionaires to remove some species that they have no market for.
According to him, the policy is a step away from the practice where concessionaires removed their preferred species for export, denying the local market of the opportunity to harvest the remaining trees. “With this policy, we require them to remove all so they can sell the other species to the domestic timber merchants; that would ensure constant supply of wood on the market and curb illegal logging,”
He, therefore, appealed to the key actors to work together to save Ghana’s forests and protect the jobs of those who depend on the sector for their livelihoods.
The one-year project, sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the European (EU) with support from the Swedish Government and UKaid, is to be implemented by the Domestic Lumber Traders Association (DOLTA).
It is to train some 120 domestic timber traders to understand and follow the processes in line with the Ghana Legality Assurance System (GhLAS) leading to the issuance of Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Trade (FLEGT) Licenses.
The FLEGT Licensing training programmes hitherto covered the export market, leaving out the domestic stakeholders. This training is to get on board those who couldn’t benefit from previous projects.
President of the Ghana Timber Association (GTA), Mr. Alex Dadzie, for his part, pleaded with stakeholders in the domestic market to take advantage of this unique opportunity to prepare themselves for FLEGT Licensing in order not to lose out when it fully takes off.
“FLEGT comes with a lot of benefits to stakeholders, so we all need to prepare ourselves so we don’t them when the licenses are eventually issued,” Mr. Dadzie reiterated.
A Steering Committee of major stakeholders including Civil Society Organizations such as Nature and Development Foundation (NDF) and Kumasi Wood Cluster (KWC) has been formed to work out implementing modalities.
Source: Modern Ghana