Business News of Thu, 23 Feb 20177
Government bans export of rosewood, stops issuance of permits
John-Peter Amewu, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, has revealed a ban has been placed on the export of rosewood across the country as part of efforts to bring sanity in the forestry sector.
He said the ban also gives a directive to the Forestry Commission to stop the issuance of felling permits for rosewood.
“We will embark on tree nurseries establishment, forest plantation development, development of the bamboo and rattan industry, conservation of biodiversity, protection of water bodies and promotion of eco-tourism,” he said.
Mr Amewu said this when he toured the agencies under his ministry on Wednesday and assured them of the ministry’s commitment to solving their challenges. The tour was to enable him to familiarise with the agencies, access their working conditions and share with them the vision of the Government in the next four years.
Addressing the staff of the Forestry Commission, Mr Amewu said the high levels of illegal logging chainsaw, mining activities, poor farming practices, annual wildfires, population pressure, the complex nature of Ghana’s land tenure system and weak law enforcement had further worsened the situation.
He said the effects of deforestation and forest degradation were beginning to manifest in the extinction of water bodies, loss of important timber species like odum and wawa, loss of wildlife habitat, rise in temperatures and unpredictable rainfall patterns due to climate change.
“The forestry sub-sector is one of the key sectors that has a huge potential for driving the economic development of this country, forests are among the world’s most productive land-based ecosystems and are essential to life on earth.
“I expect hard-work from every staff of the Commission, punctuality, discipline, corruption-free environment and dedication to service to drive the sector forward,’’ he said.
He, therefore, reassured them of his commitment to facilitating the competition of processes for the effective implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement, the passage of the Wildlife Bill, the approval of Timber Procurement Policy and ensuring the availability of funds to undertake the planned activities.