Godwill Arthur- Mensah, GNA
Accra, April 13, GNA - His Lordship Justice Paul Baffoe-Bonney, a panel member at the Supreme Court, has been appointed as a member of the Timber Validation Committee to enforce regulations and ensure transparency under the Timber Resources Management and Legality Licensing Regulations.
Justice Baffoe- Bonney who represented the Judicial Service on the Committee was sworn into office together with 10 other members of the Committee on Friday by Mr Benito Owusu-Bio, a Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in Accra.
The 11-member committee is expected to ensure that the processes of verification and validation as performed by the Timber Validation Department of the Forestry Commission were carried out in a transparent and credible manner.
The Committee was also to discharge its watchdog role in safeguarding the principles of transparency, credibility and independence in the operation of Ghana's Legality Assurance System.
The Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources said the Committee was supposed to uphold the principle of good governance as enshrined in the forest and wildlife policy.
It was also to enforce the Voluntary Partnership Agreement the country entered into with the European Union in 2009, to combat illegal logging and the associated trade in illegal timber industry as well as improve on the governance environment in the forestry sector.
The Deputy Minister noted that, the root cause of illegal logging could be traced to weak law enforcement, inadequate monitoring and feedback mechanism, hence the establishment of the Committee to address the existing inadequacies and enforce the legal and policy framework as well as respond to emerging issues in the forest sector to enhance good governance.