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General News of Saturday, 6 May 2017

Source: thefinderonline.com

Forestry Commission gives new directives on Rosewood

The Forestry Commission has reviewed all processes involving harvesting, transportation and exporting rosewood in the country.

According to the commission, all permits regarding the harvesting, transport and export of Rosewood expired on 31st December 2016 under a ‘Stop- Work’ order issued by the Commission last year.

Effectively, the Commission has revoked all existing agreements for the removal of trees from the Bui Dam enclave.

The move, according to the Commission, is geared towards adding value to the plant species and to regulate its indiscriminate felling across the country. Government in 2014 placed a ban on the harvesting of Rosewood following the abuse of permits granted some loggers to harvest it in the catchment area of the Bui dam.

It was realised that the loggers were abusing their permits and harvesting rosewood at various other locations, and exporting the raw wood for processing.

Addressing the press on the new directives in Accra yesterday, Deputy Chief Executive, of the Forestry Commission, Mr John Allotey, said government has a grand plan of resourcing the local wood processing industry to add value to the Rosewood in the country.

“We are engaging with industry in trying to build their capacity so that they would be able to handle rosewood and add value to it for export”, he added.

A speech read on behalf of the Chief Executive officer of the Forestry Commission, Mr Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, stated, among others, that future extraction of all Rosewood would be based on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) approved yearly volume quota for the country.

He noted that as a result of early directives on the harvesting of Rosewood, a total of 361 containers of Rosewood, belonging to different companies have been impounded and currently located at the ports and some wood depots across the country.

As a measure to decongest these ports and depots, companies will be granted a one-off permit to enable them to dispose of their consignments in view of the fact that they have already paid all statutory fees to the Forestry Commission.

However, these companies will be expected to pay penalties on their consignments for flouting the ‘Stop Work’ order.

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