The Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of Forestry Commission, has inaugurated a Wood Forensic Laboratory at its offices in Takoradi. This facility was a major outcome of the UNIDO – funded Wood Identification Workflow Programme, 2018 – 2012. It was a collaboration among the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD), Forest Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), and the United States Forest Services (USFS).
The Ag. Executive Director, Dr. M. Nurudeen Iddrisu revealed that before this Wood Identification Workflow Programme, wood identification was through non-scientific means like looking at the colour, smell, taste, grains, among others, of wood to identify its specie. But through this workflow programme, wood identification is now based on scientific and repeatable methods.
The Chief Executive of Forestry Commission, Mr. John Allotey, assisted by Hon. Martha Kwayie Manu, Deputy Chief Executive in charge of TIDD, cut the tape to officially inaugurate the Laboratory.
Mr. Ophilious Lambog, the Grading & Inspection Manager, TIDD, demonstrated the use of some of the state-of-the-art tools for wood identification namely Xylotron, the Xylorix Inspector, microscopes, and the Xylorix Pocket Wood Inspector to the Chief Executive and all present.
Expatiating on the use of the Xylorix Pocket Wood which is semi-automated mobile application and available on android and iOS, Mr. Lambog said it can be used to identify over 105 Ghanaian commercial timber species by trained technical staff of the Commission. He however add funds have secure to fully automated the application so that it could be used by the general public to help them identify wood on the open timber market. He added this application will include the various uses of these species to aid efficient use by actors along the timber value chain.
He said the purpose of the Laboratory is to help identify wood samples from the field which could not be identified by field officers and industry. He furthered that the Laboratory will be used to build the competence of FC staff and the industry for wood identification and help educate school pupils on sustainable forest management practices.