TBI Ghana pilots Wood Tracking System for the domestic market

TBI Ghana pilots Wood Tracking System for the domestic market

Ghana - 11 February, 2013

TBI Ghana has developed and started piloting a Wood Tracking System (WTS) for the domestic timber production and trade. This domestic WTS is part of the implementation of a project that aims to link local communities with forest concession holders to produce legal lumber for the domestic market. The project is supported by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (“FAO”) under the “ACP-FLEGT Support Programme”.

This effort comes on the heel of Ghana committing not only to export legal lumber to the European Market under a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) with the European Union (EU) but also to ensure that the domestic timber market is supplied with legal timber. However, currently about 84% of the domestic market supply is from illegal chainsaw milling. To satisfy the legality assurance criterion of the VPA, Ghana needs to address the trade in illegal chainsawn lumber.

With support from the EU, TBI Ghana has over the years, in collaboration with the Forestry Commission and the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana, and through broad multi-stakeholder processes, supported the development of a new policy for supply of legal timber to the domestic market. The policy introduces a concept of artisanal milling that will supply the domestic market with legal timber. To guarantee legal production and trade of artisanal milled lumber a Wood Tracking System is necessary.

Under the FAO-supported project, TBI Ghana trained artisanal millers in pilot regions in business and technical skills and developed different models for producing legal lumber for the domestic market. The WTS is now being piloted with some artisanal mills in the Juaso and Goaso Forest Districts. A team of young officers are now in the field to monitor the process of producing and trading legal lumber, using the developed Wood Tracking System.

The Wood Tracking System (WTS) will provide the mechanism for tracing wood products from their source in the forest, through processing to the point of sale in the domestic market. It will also provide an elaboration of the minimum processes which domestic market operators must adopt during conversion, processing and manufacturing in order to identify the timber, ensure that it is tracked throughout conversion, and also generate supporting data and information in a timely manner for the issuance of a legality license.