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Ghana - 14 November, 2011
Tropenbos International together with local partners have been awarded a next grant from the EU to continue the chainsaw milling project aimed at securing legal domestic lumber supply in support of the VPA. The project was launched on 26th October, 2011 in Accra, Ghana.
Illegal chainsaw milling, a banned activity in Ghana, still poses a threat to the forestry sector and the implementation of the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) in particular. The EU-chainsaw milling project alerted government to have a second look at the ban. Following achievements under phase I, Tropenbos International together with local partners have been awarded a next grant of 2 million Euros from the EU to continue this project aimed at securing legal domestic lumber supply in support of the VPA.
During the first phase, the project has been able to firmly establish a multi-stakeholder dialogue to share information, mitigate conflict between stakeholders and generate shared views of solutions and relevant good practices for addressing illegal chainsaw milling. In the second phase the project will continue to broaden the multi-stakeholder platform to discuss domestic lumber issues and support the implementation, by stakeholders, of the outcomes of the dialogue in policy and practice.
The second phase was launched on 26 October 2011 in Accra, Ghana. The Deputy Sector Minister, Mr Henry Ford Kamal launched the project. The head of co-operation of the EU in Ghana, Mr Kurt Cornelis and Mr Kamal applauded the multi-stakeholder dialogue as a participatory platform that discusses options and evolves mechanisms addressing the social, political, economic and ecological dimensions of the VPA. This, according to the sector minster, is the reason for Ministry’s and Forestry Commission’s support for the project. The EC delegation was encouraged by the coordination and collaboration between the project team, partners and those working within the Forestry Commission on the issues. The CEO of the Forestry Commission, Mr Afari Dartey, remarked that factors accounting for deforestation in the country are many with the gap between demand and sustainable supply of wood being the main cause. He said it was imperative that socioeconomic factors that contribute to deforestation need to be addressed with strategies involving the non-consumptive utilization of our forests while compensating individuals, groups of people, countries and regions who preserve their forests for environmental protection.
The government of Ghana was grateful to the EC for their support to the sector and together with the EU promised continuous support to the project.
Link to the news item on the Ghana delegation site: http://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/ghana/press_corner/all_news/news/2011/20111028_01_en.htm