The government has banned the harvesting of rosewood, according to Samuel Abu Jinapor, Minister of Lands and Natural Resources.
According to him, it is necessary to preserve the environment from harm, which is why his Ministry has taken this stance.
He reaffirmed the government’s commitment to conserving Ghana’s forests at the opening of this year’s Green Ghana program on Friday at the Efua Sutherland’s Children’s Park, saying that the government is resolved to strive towards the Sustainable Goal Development, number 15.
“In our bid to discharge our duty of managing the forest and wildlife resources of our country, the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources and its agencies have adopted a two-prong approach.
The first approach is to protect our existing forest and wildlife resources by halting deforestation. Accordingly, we have suspended or recognisance, prospecting and all exploration activities in forest reserves except in exceptional circumstances.
We have placed an outright ban on the harvesting, salvaging, trading, exporting and importing of Rosewood and effective 2nd July, 2021 we ceased the issuance of the convention on international trade and endangered species of wild fauna and flora CITES permit which is required to legally trade in Rosewood on the international market, where the cartels involved in this business ply their trade”, he stated.
He further added that, “The Forestry Commission has established a rapid response team which is working with other security agencies to ensure strict compliance with these bans and to clamp down on all illegal logging activities.
The Commission has also introduced a solar-powered electronic wood tracking system which enables it to track wood from the forest till its final disposal. As well as a digital property mark and registration system, which allows loggers to register and renew their property marks from the comfort of their homes”.
The sector minister also emphasized the importance of trees and urged everyone to get involved in the Green Ghana initiative.
President Akufo-Addo, for one, remarked that despite the difficult weather conditions, many of the seedlings planted last year as part of the Green Ghana Day campaign survived.
As an intervention, the government established a goal of planting five million trees to assist repair the country’s deteriorated landscape and minimize the effects of climate change.
At the end of the exercise, almost seven million trees had been planted, exceeding the goal. 20 million tree seedlings are planned to be planted this year.
The President called for increased collaboration and action from all parties in the repair of devastated environments.
He noted that the trees planted require adequate care to maintain their growth, which he believes is everyone’s responsibility.
“Happily, Green Ghana day has no political party colouration as we all agree that we must leave generations unborn – no matter their political affiliations – of a greener sustainable future.
“This year, our target is to plant at least 20 million trees. Even though 20 million may sound like a lot, it’s nowhere near what we’ve lost over the years. Trees, and indeed, forests are necessary for our own survival and that of our planet,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the Forestry Commission has allayed fears that the government will fall short of the 20 million tree planting objective set for the Green Ghana Project in 2022.
However, John Allotey, the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission, believes that the 20 million target can be met.
“This year, the 20 million tree planting project has been spilt into two phases. 10 million is going into forest reserves that will add to the forest stock. Then the other 10 million will go to improve our landscape.
“The places have been prepared in the forest reserves. We have the seedlings ready, and we are going to plant more of the indigenous timber species in the forest reserves,” he said in an interview.
This is the project’s second edition. It began in 2021 as part of the government’s efforts to conserve and safeguard the country’s forest cover and the ecosystem as a whole, and the President has designated it an annual event.
Individuals and corporations interested in planting seedlings should call 0244643780 or 0208290797.