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09.04.2008 General News

Land Ministry Adopts Strategies And Interventions - Minister

By GNA
Land Ministry Adopts Strategies And Interventions - Minister

Minister for Lands, Forestry and Minies, Mrs Esther Obeng-Dapaah addressing the media, seated on her right is Hon Minister for Information and National Orientation, Mrs Oboshie Sai Cofie The Ministry of Land, Forestry and Mines has adopted a number of strategies and interventions to review policies on allocation of timber rights through a competitive bidding process to ensure fairness, equity, transparency and prevent substantial loss of revenue to the state.

The Ministry is also implementing a Voluntary Partnership Agreement with the European Union on legal timber to ensure legality in timber export trade and that only legal timber enters the EU market, Mrs Esther Obeng-Dapaah, the Sector Minister, said.

Addressing journalists at the Meet-The-Press series in Accra yesterday, she said the process would prevent illegal logging and loss of revenue to government, control waste and prevent over exploitation of timber.

She said, to address the rapid deforestation, the Ministry was implementing various forms of forest plantation programmes with communities and the private sector under the newly established Plantation Department within the Forest Services Division.

The Minister said so far, over 107,000 hectares had been planted and about 46,000 full-time and approximately 1.1 million part-time workers were employed.

Mrs Dapaah said her outfit was also developing a corporate customer focus and business oriented organisation located in a common building to facilitate needed teamwork for improved service delivery.

She said the Ministry was also implementing various plantation development programmes to generate employment, reduce poverty and as well restore loss of forest cover. She said they had also instituted a benefit-sharing scheme under the programme for parties involved to make it economically attractive to both local and foreign investment.

Mrs Dapaah announced that Cabinet had approved a benefit-sharing scheme for parties involved in Modified Taungya System - Forestry Commission (40 per cent), Farmer (40 per cent), Landowner (15 per cent) and Local Community (five per cent).

She said the Attorney General was considering for approval a reviewed benefit-sharing scheme for parties involved in Commercial Plantation Development.   Please click here to view photos    

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