NGOs to intensify advocacy against rosewood felling

By
Albert Futukpor, GNA

Tamale, Oct 20, GNA –
The 8th Baobab Market session has been held in Tamale with a commitment by
members to intensify their advocacy to stop the indiscriminate felling of and
exportation of rosewood from the country.

Members, therefore,
have constituted a committee to lead the advocacy activities by engaging with
stakeholders at community and national levels to find a lasting solution to the
situation.

Rosewood is considered
an endangered species hence a ban on harvesting of rosewood in the country but
the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources continues to license companies to
transport lumbered rosewood from the savannah regions where the companies later
export the wood.

Records indicate that
from 2004 to 2017, about 1,000,000 cubic metres of rosewood were felled in the
country, a level described as unsustainable as the tree takes a minimum of 40
years to regenerate.

In 2017, the Ministry
of Lands and Natural Resources lifted the ban on rosewood exportation and
consequently licensed about 100 companies to collect 3000 cubic metres of
lumbered rosewood for export.

Rosewood possesses a
lot of economic and medicinal values and the unsustainable level at which the
trees are being felled defeats efforts to conserve the environment as well as
mitigate effects of climate change in the country.

The inability of
government to perpetually ban the exportation of rosewood, which will prevent
it’s harvesting, has become a source of worry to non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) and activists in the sector, who question the government’s commitment to
conserving the environment.

Alhaji Osman
Abdel-Rahman, Interim Chairman of the Baobab Market said NGOs in the Northern,
Upper East and Upper West Regions would continue to raise concerns about the
indiscriminate felling of rosewood and its consequences on the environment and
livelihood of the people to ensure that authorities took action to perpetually
ban the practice.

The Baobab Market is a
group of NGOs in the three regions of the north that meets to identify, discuss
and adopt strategies to collectively address development challenges to enhance
the wellbeing of the people of the region and the country at large.

Hajia Alima Sagito
Saeed, Executive Director of the Savannah Integrated Rural Development Aid said
there was need for authorities to show more commitment towards protecting
rosewood because it was valuable to society.

Some of the NGOs that
took part in the discussions included the Ghana Developing Communities
Association, NORSAAC, Youth Alive, Rural Media Network, the media amongst
others.

 

GNA

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