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14.10.2008 Business & Finance

Seminar on chainsaw ends at Akim Oda

Ghana's earnings in wood products increased from 170,079,907 Euros in 2006 to 184,174,022 Euros in 2007, contributing to about six per cent of Gross Domestic Product (DGP).
Within the period, she exported 457.608 m3 tons of wood products in 2006 and 528,570 m3 tons in 2007.
Mr William Owusu-Asare, Akim Oda District Forest Manager, disclosed this to the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at Akim Oda in the Birim Municipality on Tuesday, after a day's seminar.
He said "This figure represents 8.28 per cent and 17.04 per cent increases in export value and volume respectively".

The seminar was on the theme: "Developing alternatives for illegal chainsaw lumbering through multi-stakeholder dialogue in Ghana and Guyana".
It was for multi-stakeholders including the European Union (EU), the Forest Commission, Tropenbos International of Ghana, the Forest Research Institute of Ghana, timber companies and chainsaw operators.
Mr Owusu-Asare said the high forest of the country contains many valuable timber species, the exploitation of which has supported the economy of the country greatly.
The Forest Manager was emphatic that the forestry sector had for many years been the third most important foreign exchange earner for the country after minerals and cocoa.
He stressed that the sector also contributed significantly to employment generation, providing livelihood to over two million people.

Mr Owusu Asare said the forestry sector was by far the most important supplier of energy to the country since: "Ghana's forest and woodlands are seen in their unique contribution to fuel wood, as the largest energy source for household and commercial cooking, water heating and rural industry".
He buttressed his point by quoting a 2002 Energy Commission report as: "The total consumption of firewood and charcoal in Ghana is about 18 million tons per annum, where more than 50 per cent of it ends up in households and small to medium scale enterprises in the rural areas".
Madam Mercy Owusu Ansah, a facilitator of the seminar explained to the participants that chainsaw lumbering had many adverse effects on both the environment and society at large.
She said it was for that reason that there is a ban on illegal chainsaw operation.