Ghanaian government extends ban on Rosewood export indefinitely

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, has announced an indefinite ban on Rosewood harvesting, transportation, processing, and export.

The Minister of Lands and Natural Resources, Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh

This is coming after the government announced a ban on the product in March 2019. However, the minister said the ban should remain in force indefinitely.

He directed the Forestry Directorate of the Ministry to liaise with the Forestry Commission to create modalities for monitoring within the various hotspot Rosewood districts.

This decision is coming after the government’s committee set up to investigate alleged corruption in rosewood trade reported back.

The government went through the report and recommendations of the seven-member committee established in August 2019.

The committee was chaired by a Deputy Minister, Benito Owusu-Bio.

At a press conference in Accra, the minister said all stockpile of rosewood lying in the various sawmills and hotspots across the country should be sent to a central location for auctioning for value-added processing.

He said that there should focus on freight forwarding companies that falsified documentation to cover wood export, especially illegal rosewood to Vietnam. He said these companies must be named and shamed.

In the long-term, the minister directed the Forestry Commission to create a comprehensive inventory of rosewood resources to establish its sustainable exploitation levels and promote plantation development.

“A recent publication shows that China has banned illegal timber import from Ghana. This policy initiative is, indeed, good for Ghana’s Rosewood export trade and our efforts towards the issuance of FLEGT licence under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement,” Mr Asomah-Charemeh said.

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