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Business News of Friday, 18 October 2013

Source: Daily Guide Network

Gov't bans Rosewood timber exportation

The harvesting and exportation of Rosewood timber have been banned in the country effective January 1st 2014 until further notice, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Alhaji Inusah Fuseinu has stated.

Addressing a press conference in Accra, the Sector Minister said the decision was reached by Cabinet after its 11th meeting held on Friday, 21st September, 2013 on the indiscriminate felling and export of Rosewood timber in the country.

He said, “To reverse this trend and protect the integrity of our environment as a whole, Cabinet has directed that effective 1st January 2014 the harvesting and export of Rosewood are banned until further notice,” he said.

Alhaji Fuseinu further noted that the Forestry Commission had been charged to enforce the ban from the said date. “The Commission should also ensure that the ban is brought to the notice of the timber industry while steps are taken to sensitize the general public at large,” he observed.

Explaining further, Alhaji Fuseinu said until recently Rosewood timber was used locally but the growth of markets in Asia, particularly China, had led to the excessive exploitation of the specie.

He said a temporary ban was therefore imposed in June last year on harvesting and export of Rosewood but it was lifted after new measures were put in place by the Ministry and the Forestry Commission.

The Minster of Lands and Natural Resources indicated that field monitoring in the past months showed there had been a rise in indiscriminate felling of Rosewood in fragile and ecologically sensitive savanna zones of the country.

“The perpetrators of this act often use some farmers and communities to fell large volumes of Rosewood and later approach the Forestry Commission to report of having detected illegal felled Rosewood and consequently request for salvage permits to haul them,” he said.

He said the enforcement of the ban would help prevent the totally destruction of the fragile savanna landscape biodiversity, as well as increase in erosion that would threaten the livelihood of the people.

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