Securing legal domestic lumber supply through multi-stakeholder dialogue in Ghana


Securing legal domestic lumber supply through multi-stakeholder dialogue in Ghana

In spite of being banned in 1998, chainsaw milling continues to be a major supplier of Ghana’s domestic lumber needs. Chainsaw milling helps to sustain rural economies and livelihoods, and banning it fuels illegal practices and conflict. Chainsaw milling challenges Ghana’s ambitions to develop a legal and sustainable forestry sector. Addressing the issue in an equitable way will reduce conflicts in the forest sector, diminish forest degradation and support rural livelihoods.

In November 2009, a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) between the government of Ghana and the EU was ratified, aiming for the legal production of timber. This agreement includes the production for the domestic market which is supplied for more than 80 percent by chainsaw milled lumber. Since the production of and trade in chainsaw lumber is illegal in Ghana, the implementation of the VPA might have a significant impact on local livelihoods and on timber production in Ghana.

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The chainsaw milling project is using multi-stakeholder dialogue (MSD) as the key mechanism for developing a consensus based action plan addressing the problems associated with chainsaw milling. This MSD is fuelled with sound information to facilitate good decision making. Outcomes from this multi-stakeholder process are piloted in ten communities in Ghana: Goaso and Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, Nkawie and Juaso in the Ashanti Region, Begoro, Kade and Akim Oda in the Eastern Region, Assin Foso in the Central Region, Tarkwa in the Western Region and Nkwanta in the Volta Region.