General News of Friday, 7 July 2017
The Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, has called on the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) to conduct an investigation into the illegal logging of rosewood in the Builsa South District.
The perpetrators he noted should be brought to justice accordingly and in addition, they should be made to plant and nurture trees to maturity in affected areas as a compensatory measure.
He also called for the District Police Command to be instructed to arrest anyone felling rosewood in his district. ‘’The apprehended should be prosecuted. The police should work in collaboration with the Assembly and the Forestry Commission to enforce the ban on rosewood logging.’’ Delivering a statement on the floor of Parliament recently, the former presidential staffer suggested for a Forestry Officer to be assigned to the Builsa South immediately since they do not have an officer.
According to the MP, Builsa North is also faced with the same challenge. The MP said further for a national task force to be formed and allowed to investigate why the illegal harvesting of rosewood continues in the Savanna zone. The task force should have representation from the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources , the Parliamentary Select Sub-Committee on Lands and Natural Resources, the BNI and the Office of the President.
The outcome of the work of such a task force should considered in possible policy changes or modifications,’’ he added. The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources furnishes this House with report on how many containers of Rosewood have been impounded since the ban, their places of origin, how government intends to dispose the impounded rosewood, and whether or not the affected communities will share in the proceeds.’’
The legislator who has been championing the need for environmental protection, said legislators and leaders should not sit unconcerned and allow illegal loggers to make huge financial profit at the expense of the poor masses whose daily livelihoods depend on a healthy environment.
‘’This carlous, cruel and wicked environmental carnage is not only the result of utter ignorance but that of sheer greed for money and insensitivity to and total disregard for the fragile ecosystem of Builsa South.’’ He further expressed worry at how we can mitigate the hazards of desertification and climate change with the onslaught of illegal logging activities such as these?
The widespread environmental destruction in Builsa South and other parts of the Northern savanna woodland ecological zone must end. Rosewood is a fine grained timber used principally for the production of high-end expensive furniture for the elite across the world, especially in Asia (China).
It is used also for making chess pieces as well as parts of musical instruments. It is estimated that China alone imports close to 96% of all rosewood lumber exported out of Ghana.