Ghana On Course To Begin Issuance Of FLEGT Licences

The Minister for Lands and Natural Resources, Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor, MP, on Wednesday, February 23, 2022, hosted the European Union Ambassador to Ghana, His Excellency Ichard Razaaly.

The visit by H.E Ichard Razaaly was to, among other things, discuss Ghana’s readiness to implement the Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) signed between Ghana and the European Union.

Addressing the EU Ambassador and his delegation, the Minister, outlined key actions undertaken by the government in preparation for the issuance of the FLEGT license.

Hon. Jinapor indicated that the timber industry is of huge interest to the government as it contributes significantly to the country’s socio-economic development.

To this end, he acknowledged the importance of collaborating with the EU to realize the full benefits of the timber industry.

He stated that the government is committed to ensuring sustainable management and exploitation of its timber resources and the VPA provides the platform to further the cause.

Hon. Samuel A. Jinapor further cited initiatives such as the Green Ghana Project, robust afforestation towards the restoration of the degraded landscape, as part of the government’s aggressive afforestation program in contributing towards global actions to mitigate the effect of climate change.

The Minister reiterated the government’s full commitment to the implementation of the Forest Law Enforcement, Governance, and Trade (FLEGT ) scheme. He further indicated that plans are far advanced to make Ghana the first African country to issue a FLEGT license and the second in the world after Indonesia. The Minister stated as follows;

“We made progress in our system and are ready to ensure that we become the first country in Africa to start FLEGT licensing. Ghana is very committed to the Voluntary Partnership Agreement and our team has worked tirelessly to arrive this far. The development of our timber licensing system is also helping Ghana address issues of illegal timber on our domestic and regional trade”.

On his part, H.E Ichard Razaaly stated that the European Union has pledged its support to countries that adopt sustainable methods in exploiting their timber resources and commended Ghana for staying committed to the tenets of the VPA.

He also commiserated with the people of Ghana over the Appiatse explosion and expressed the hope that the measures being instituted will forestall future occurrences. He was, however, quick to add that the development partners are mobilizing funds to contribute towards the Appiatse Support Fund.

The Voluntary Partnership Agreement which was signed between the Republic of Ghana and the EU in 2009, aims at developing the systems needed to control, verify and license legal timber for both domestic and export markets.

Story by: News Desk Report