Peer Guidance Teams give training to Small and Medium Forest Enterprises

Peer Guidance Teams give training to Small and Medium Forest Enterprises

Ghana - 20 January, 2016

A total of one thousand, one hundred and eighty-seven (1,187) employers and employees of Small and Medium Forest Enterprises (SMFEs) benefited from training workshops on Ghana’s Legality Assurance System (LAS), Advocacy and Networking.

The training is to enable them to comply with Ghana’s LAS as stipulated under the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA), embark on advocacy on emerging policies and laws in the forestry sector and also promote networking and sharing of knowledge and information amongst associations of SMFEs.

The workshops organised nationwide last year were led by 29 Peer Guidance Teams (PGTs) under the Timber Legality Compliance and Advocacy Project (TILCAP) being implemented by Tropenbos International (TBI) Ghana with funding from the European Commission.

The Peer Guidance Teams form the main conduit for reaching out to people working in SMFEs due to their vast population and spatial distribution.

The teams also constitute an instrument for ensuring the sustainability of the project long after it has folded up since they have received adequate training on Ghana’s Legality Assurance System (LAS), advocacy issues and networking. They are thus in a position to pass on this knowledge to others. Consequently, continuous education to ensure compliance with Ghana’s LAS among SMFEs is assured.

The Peer Guidance Teams consist of two groups, one for the Northern Zone and the other for the Southern Zone of Ghana. They were drawn from key industry associations with a representative from one Civil Society Organisation (CSO) each.

In the Ashanti Region, three training workshops were organised at Kumasi, Obuasi and Ejura, whilst in the Brong-Ahafo Region, the workshops were organised at Sunyani, Doorma and Techiman.

In the Northern Region, the workshops took place at Tamale, Damongo and Yend; in the Upper East Region, the workshops took place at Bolgatanga and Novorongo whilst in the Upper West Region, the workshop took place at Wa, the regional capital.

Other workshops were organised at Koforidua, Asamankese and Oda in the Eastern Region, Ho, Sogakope and Nkwanta in the Volta Region, and Assin Fosu, Agona Swedru, and Mankesim in the Central Region. Other workshop venues included Accra Central, Ashiaman and Amasaman in the Greater Accra Region, and Takoradi, Begoso, Enchi and Sefwi Wiaso in the Western Region.

Participants for the various workshops were drawn from the Domestic Lumber Trade Association (DOLTA), Woodworkers Association of Ghana (WAG), the Furniture and Wood Workers Association of Ghana (FAWAG), the Ghana Timber Association (GTA), wood sellers groups, carpenters associations, Aburi Industrial Centre (AIC), Artisanal Millers Associations, and lumber sellers.

All training sessions were conducted by PGT members with support from the project team and two representatives from CSOs who also monitored the training process.