The Forestry Commission, led by Mr. John Allotey, Chief Executive; together with Mr. Oppon Sasu, ED of FSD; Dr. Ben Donkoh, ED of TIDD; Mr. Chris Beeko, Director of TVD; Mr. Alex Asare, Acting Director of RMSC; and many top Forestry officials have accompanied the Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Kwaku Asomah – Cheremeh and a delegation from the European Union (EU) led by H.E. Mrs. Diana Acconcia, EU Ambassador to Ghana, to conduct field visits to evaluate the status of implementation of the various elements of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement. This visit was to get a firsthand experience of how the Wood Tracking System (WTS) which is now deployed across all forest districts in Ghana, is being operated.
The tour formed part of an assessment procedure that will pave way for Ghana to be given the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT) license to enable Ghana export timber and wood products to the European Union markets. The tour took the delegation to Kunsimoa Bepo Shelter Belt Forest Reserve, Breku and Bronko communities, Logs and Lumber Limited (LLL) and Adras Company Limited all in the Ashanti Region, where they observed how the Wood Tracking System (WTS) is used in tracking timber and the advantages the FLEGT license will offer the small and big timber companies.
After the tour, the Commission and the Sector Ministry held a press conference to enlighten the press on the proceedings of the previous days. Her Excellency Mrs. Diana Acconsia, Hon. Kwaku Asomah – Cheremeh and Mr. John Allotey were impressed with the initial assessment of the work being done to protect the country’s forest reserves. The EU ambassador during the press conference announced that, the Ghana’s timber legality assurance system is ready for final independent assessment and she was very confident that the government is committed to accomplish all remaining activities necessary to get the green light.
Hon. Kwaku Asomah – Cheremeh said the notable changes in the regulatory environment that has come with the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership gives the assurance that Ghana’s systems are ready for the required assessment prior to the issuance of timber legality license under the Voluntary partnership Agreement. “Our Ministry remains confident that, the assessment of Ghana’s Timber Legality assurance system will be concluded on a positive note to make Ghana the first country in Africa and the second in the World to trade under these Timber legality assurance system” He said.