Musah Abu Juam, Technical Director of Forestry at the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, says illegal timber are being sold on the local market at an alarming rate.
According to him, about 80 percent of timber sold in Ghana are illegal and inferior.
Mr Juam, who was speaking at a workshop in Accra on the theme, ‘Supporting the Implementation of the Public Procurement Policy on Timber and Timber Products in Ghana,’ said government is the major buyer of illegal timber on the market.
He stated that to address the problem, government must start using legally-acquired timber for all its construction projects.
Mr. Juamcalled for an effective implementation of the Public Procurement Policy on Timber & Timber Products to curb the trade of illegal timber in the country.
He said under the policy, sellers would be required to register with the Timber Industry Development Division (TIDD) of the Forestry Commission to obtain documents that would show that their timber are legal.
“We are now seeking Cabinet’s approval for the policy. Once we get the approval, the entire monitoring infrastructure would also be put in place,” he said.
Director at NDF, Mustapha Seidu disclosed that the implementation of the policy would indicate that government would no longer countenance illegal timber trade.
He said the policy would also reduce the amount of illegal timber on the market as well as maintain forest integrity.
“It is good for those of us who are consumers because when this policy is out, it means that there would be legal timber available on the market because as it is now you buy what you get.
“Secondly, this will be good for forestry because if it degrades to a certain level, it can’t recover,” Mr Seidu.
By Nii Ogbamey Tetteh