Government lied about fighting illegal logging of rosewood – Apaak

General News of Saturday, 22 July 2017



Dr Clement Apaak StarrMP for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak, who has been advocating for persons engaging in illegal logging of rosewood in the Builsa South District and other areas to be prosecuted, has taken a swipe at government.

The MP expressed his disappointment in government who claimed to have banned logging of rosewood, for issuing letters of approval for some individuals to salvage rosewood.

Two letters sighted by and signed by the Chief Director at the Lands and Natural Resources, Prof. Bruce Banoeng-Yakubo, gave approval to Messrs Attakey Limited and Messrs Logline to salvage 5000 cubic meters and 3000 cubic meters of rosewood from the Brong Ahafo, Upper West, Upper East and Northern Regions.

The letters further requested the two companies, to comply with all guidelines and regulations relating to the grant of timber rights and also pay all statutory fees.

But Dr. Apaak has raised a red flag over the approval on the premise that, government announced a ban on the logging of rosewood.

‘’The NPP government claims to have banned the logging and export of Rosewood as of February 2017. Since then I’ve made a statement on the floor of parliament on the fact that the ban is ineffective as the practice is ongoing”

“The speaker referred the matter to the parliamentary subcommittee on Lands and Forestry. Now, it’s clear per the above letters granting permission to salvage rosewood that the NPP government has been deceptive in its claims of fighting the illegal logging and export of Rosewood,’’ he said.

He added, ‘’Since the ban over 360 containers have been impounded. Now it’s clear that government is blowing hot and cold. How do you ban an activity and yet grant permission for the activity?”

Dr. Apaak some weeks ago presented a statement in Parliament where he 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.

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 also used 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.

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