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Project Description

Project title : Improving Capacity Development of Small to Medium Scale Timber Processing Enterprises towards Effective Voluntary Partnership Implementation in Ghana
Implementing organization : Resource Management Support Centre (RMSC)
Country : Ghana
Funding: USD 68 020
Start date: 27 May 2014
Projected end date: 26 May 2015

Project description:
The SMEs who mostly operate informally, do not follow the regulations guiding the harvesting and processing of timber thus threatening sustainability of the forest resources. Additionally, they do not pay requisite taxes and royalties thus the state loses considerable revenues. For example, chainsaw enterprises generate an annual income of between USD 14.2 and USD 20.5 million the state incurs a revenue loss estimated at USD 18 million / year (Owusu Ansah, 2008).

Recognizing the important roles that SMEs play in national development, especially in the alleviation of rural poverty, there is need for designing and adopting an institutional support system to enable SMEs to become VPA compliant. Broader participation of all key stakeholders in VPA processes must also be pursued to achieve overall success. The focus of this project is on awareness raising and capacity development to address human resources and capabilities for change, towards creating resilience and sustainable results. To address the identified challenges and underlying causes, a comprehensive suite of responses are proposed under four main expected outputs.

Objectives:
Strengthen the institutional capacity and knowledge base of SMEs to facilitate adherence to the VPA domestic licensing regime towards improved forest governance in Ghana.

Expected results:
• Understanding of VPA-FLEGT instruments on domestic markets improved
• Networking and coordination among SMEs enhanced
• Capacity and skills of SMEs to enhance participation in the VPA process developed

Activities:
• Support Domestic Lumber Traders Association (DOLTA) to undertake identification & mobilization of SMEs as well as conduct assessment of their capacity and information needs
• Develop training modules based on the capacity and information needs assessment
• Support DOLTA to deliver capacity development trainings for SMEs and awareness raising symposiums. Undertake information needs assessment among SMEs
• Identify and mobilize SME’s
• Facilitate the formation of networks among SMEs and the establishment of an umbrella platform

Achievements:
• Project launched and results disseminated amongst SMEs and key stakeholders for additional inputs towards successful implementation of the VPA
• Nationwide identification and mapping of all timber producing SMEs completed
• Capacity & Training needs of SMEs conducted and Training Programme designed
• Strategy for SME networking unto a national platform completed
• Awareness raising of over 200 members of varied SME groups on tenets of the VPA conducted in across major timber operational areas .