Stakeholders at a dialogue on illegal logging of rosewood in Northern Ghana have blamed government for failing to show commitment to protecting it. They said continued issuance of salvaged permits to companies to pack, transport and export rosewood from forests especially in the Northern part of the country was ample evidence that government was not committed to fighting its logging.
The dialogue organised in Tamale by STAR Ghana Foundation in collaboration with Baobab Market, a group of civil society organisations (CSOs), was to contribute to restore and preserve the fragile Northern Ghana vegetation and economic trees.
It was on the theme: “Accountability of key actors in the illegal rosewood trade in Northern Ghana.”
Deputy National Director in-charge of Operations at A Rocha Ghana, Daryl Bossu, identified institutional lapses, as accounting for the illegal logging of rosewood in the country and expressed the need to empower communities to protect their natural resource.
Paramount Chief of the Bongo Traditional Area, and Vice Chairman of the Upper East Regional House of Chiefs, Naaba Baba Salifu Atamale Lemyaarum, who spoke on the perspectives of traditional leaders, said those engaged in the illegal logging of rosewood were connected adding “If the ban is in place and you are not allowed to transport and export the woods, nobody will cut rosewood. Our local carpenters do not need it.”
Michael Balinga, Biodiversity Conservation Specialist, West Africa Biodiversity and Climate Change Programme called for a monitoring mechanism composed of relevant stakeholders to discuss the issues, enforce regulations and manage the rosewood for the benefit of especially the local people.
Former Executive Director of Integrated Social Development Centre, Bishop Akolgo, advised CSOs and community members to demand a blueprint from political parties in terms of how to resolve the rosewood menace and inform them on who to vote for during this year’s elections.
Executive Director of STAR Ghana Foundation, Ibrahim-Tanko Amidu, said the situation about rosewood was a matter of livelihoods and development, calling for a joint action from citizens and state actors to end the its illegal logging.
Story By: Nelson Nyadror Adanuti