Tamale, Dec 12, GNA – Trade in and the use of illegal timber and products in the country would soon become a thing of the past as government puts in place measures to tighten its grips on controlling the sector.
To show its commitment and leadership in addressing illegal logging and trade in timber, as well as support the development of sustainable forest management, government has developed a Public Procurement Policy on timber and timber products for the domestic market.
The government is currently developing Implementation Guidelines to enhance the effective implementation of the Public Procurement Policy on timber and timber products in the country.
In view of this, a day’s stakeholder consultation workshop was held in Tamale on Thursday to seek inputs into the draft Implementation Guidelines of the Public Procurement Policy on timber and timber products as well as share knowledge on restructuring of the domestic timber market supply chain to improve availability of timber.
It was organised by the Nature and Development Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, in collaboration with the Timber Industry Development Division of the Forestry Commission of Ghana, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and with support from the Food and Agricultural Organisation.
The participants, which included procurement officers, were drawn from Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies (MMDAs) in the Northern, Upper East and Upper West Regions.
In an address read on his behalf, Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission said: “The issue about supply of timber and sustainable forest management have become a global concern and Ghana cannot afford to be left out in the fight against forest degradation.”
Mr Dartey said the government under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement signed with the European Union, is committed to ensure that legal timber is not only traded on the export market but also on the domestic market.
He said the government is promoting an alternative livelihood programme and social protection mechanism for chainsaw endemic communities to take their eyes off the forest.
Mr Sebastian Jerry Ackotia, Project Consultant on the Implementation of Guidelines for the Public Procurement Policy on timber and timber products, who made a presentation, impressed on MMDA’s to always verify to ensure that timber and timber products they bought are legal.