Friends of the Earth Ghana (FOE-Ghana), an environmental Non-Governmental Organisation, is spending 450,000 euros to help improve forest governance in four regions of the country.FOE-Ghana

With funding from the European Union (EU), FOE-Ghana, in collaboration with the National Working Group on Forest Certification, is implementing the three-year project in 20 forest fringe communities in Ashanti, Eastern, Western and Brong-Ahafo regions.

Titled; ?Strengthening Civil Society Informal and Private Sector Participation in Forest Law Enforcement and Governance,” the project?s specific objective is to improve forest governance by reducing illegal forest harvesting and corrupt practices in the forestry sector.

Mr Nehemiah Tettey Odjei-Boi, Assistant Programme Coordinator of FOE-Ghana, disclosed this at a training programme on the project in Sunyani.

It was attended by about 50 small and medium scale enterprises in the domestic lumber business made up of carpenters and wood sellers and others artisanal millers from Dormaa Central, Berekum and Sunyani Municipalities, and the Asunafo South and Tano North Districts.

The participants were trained on how to comply with forest laws and the EU Due Diligence requirements.

Mr Odjei-Boi said Ghana?s forest resources were depleting very fast because of uncontrolled felling of lumber.

He said because corruption in the forestry sector was rife, lumber and chainsaw operators illegally operated in some forest reserves which called for the need to ensure that wood supplied in both local and international markets were verified.

Mr Christopher Manu, Technical Coordinator of FOE-Ghana, said under the project 30 media organisations from the project implementing region would be trained on procedures for granting permits and organising anti-corruption forums in the forest fringe communities.

Additionally, the project would establish 20 constructive dialogue platforms at the district levels in the implementing regions.

Mr Alfred Fosu, a consultant, Mr Gustav Adu of the Kumasi Wood Cluster and Mr James Parker of Tropenbos International Ghana took participants through key elements of the Legal Assurance System, Chain of Custody Procedures, Record Keeping and Forestry Commission Business Processes.





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