Ghana has set a replanting target of 30,000 hectares of destroyed forests every year, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Forestry Commission (FC), Mr Samuel Afari Dartey, has announced.
This followed the revival of the forest plantation development initiative.
He said with this, the raw material base of the timber resource is going to increase to allow for continued supply.
Mr. Dartey said this in an address read for him at the opening ceremony of the International Tropical Timber Organizations' (ITTO) timber tracking project meeting at Fumesua near Kumasi.
The three-day conference has brought together participants from Ghana, Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, Central African Republic, Singapore, Germany, United Kingdom (UK), Belgium, Australia and Malaysia to develop technologies for tracking illegal timber.
The project is being funded by the German Government with support from the United States (US) and Australia.
Mr. Dartey described the project as a timely intervention to address the menace of illegal timber in Africa.
He said although many legal instruments have been established to combat illegal logging and trade of illegally sourced timber, practical control mechanisms to identify the tree species and geographic origin of wood products have been the missing link.
The inception of the project is therefore an important milestone in the control of the timber trade and industry.
Mr. Dartey said there were efforts aimed at addressing the supply of legal timber to the domestic market, adding that, there is political support to ensure good forest governance.
Ms Gesa Burchards, Country Director of GIZ, said they are enthusiastic about the fingerprinting project because of her country’s longstanding history in sustainable forest management and forest research.
She said by supporting the project, they want to assist wood producing countries in their effort to enforce national forest laws and make it unattractive to carry out illegal activities.**