Forestry experts have cautioned that Ghana’s natural forests may run the risk of being depleted in the next 10 to 20 years.
They expressed fear that if care is not taken, the country will resort to importing Timber for construction if the high rate of illegal timber logging is not curbed.
According to the Ghana Forest Investment Program, Ghana loses two percent of its forest annually which translates into about seven hundred thousand hectors.
Director of Nature Development Foundation Mustapha Seidu, who spoke at a media training workshop on the Public Procurement Policy for Timber and Timber Products in Ghana said that the current situation of the forests if not stopped, may have irreversible consequences on the country’s future.
“Where is the public procurement policy? When is it going to be passed?” he asked.
He added that “Given the fact we are losing two per cent of our forest per annum and given that illegal logging is on the rampage in this nation, don’t they think that our natural forest is going to be depleted in the next ten to twenty years?”
“What would happen to local people who are constantly depending on wood from cheaper sources? Can they actually afford import and is importation is going to be a substitute or a solution?
Gov’t to begin Timber Importation
In 2014 , the then Deputy Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Barbara Serwaa Asamoah indicated that the government was going to commence with the importation of timber.
She addressed the 5th edition of National Forest Forum-Ghana (NFF-G) in Dodowa, where she disclosed that timber products on the domestic market were not enough to meet demand.
The forum, was attended by Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), policymakers and traditional leaders from the 10 regions under the theme: ‘Deepening Ghana’s Country Dialogue-Contribution to sustainable forest management,’ was organized by NFF-G to grant stakeholders the platform to dialogue on ways of sustaining Ghana’s natural resources.
“There is high demand for timber products in the country but the current timber production capacity is extremely low and if the government fails to bring in additional supply, illegal chainsaw activities could increase tremendously,” said the Deputy Minister.
“The trees we have in our forest are just small. Most of the mahogany and other tree species are gradually finishing, if we do not feed employers within the industry they will lay off their employees,” she stated.
By: Rita Mensah/citifmonline.com/Ghana